Roger Moore, Redding’s new police chief, got the support of all five City Council members on Tuesday night. When it came to a vote, however, the Enterprise High graduate only received four yes votes.
Councilman Adam McElvain cast the lone no vote, explaining that even though he considered Moore “truly a hometown hero,” he could not support City Manager Barry Tippin’s appointment since it came with a 5-percent pay raise.
Moore, who worked his way up from a police cadet to the rank of captain, will be paid $173,832 a year. His predecessor, Robert Paoletti, was paid about $165,500 a year. Tippin said the pay hike was necessary to ensure the chief earned more than his closest subordinates. Historically the city has tried to maintain a 10-percent gap; Moore will earn 7.5-percent more than his captains.
Seeking to dispel some exaggerations and wild claims swirling around on social media, Tippin said Moore’s salary is about $8,000 below the median salary for police chiefs in comparable cities and lower than salaries paid in Woodland and Lodi. Moore’s salary is higher than what Chico pays ($160,000), but not $100,000 higher as some have claimed on Facebook. And Redding does not pay its police chief more than the city of San Francisco. Tippin said San Francisco’s chief makes $309,000 a year.
Noting that Redding’s police chief vacancy attracted 19 applicants, McElvain said he was comfortable with a maximum salary of $13,796 a month or $165,552 a year. Any extra money, McElvain said, should be spent adding officers.
McElvain’s colleagues did not share his reservations. Councilwoman Francie Sullivan expressed her “deep gratitude that he applied for this job and was willing to take it.” Considering the challenges Moore will face, Councilwoman Julie Winter said she was grateful he was willing to step up and take command.
Everybody on the council understands the city’s budget crunch, Winter said, but expecting Moore to move up from a union job to an at-will position without taking a pay increase “was foolish.”
Bob Reitenbach, a frequent council critic, was not happy with the pay hike. “All it does is boost the retirement” for police officers and other city employees, he said.
James Crockett, a Shasta College instructor who served on community panel that interviewed the five finalists, said he and his fellow panelists were struck by Moore’s empathy, technical qualifications and emotional intelligence. “And he’s passionate. He loves this city and he wants it to thrive.”
Moore began his career with the Shasta County Sheriff’s Department and spent four years as a police officer in Watsonville before joining the Redding Police Department in 1995. Moore has a bachelor’s degree from Simpson University and a master’s in public administration from National University.
“I think he’s going to be fantastic,” Mayor Brent Weaver said.
In other action Tuesday, the council:
Center of Hope
–During the public comment portion of the meeting, Hill Country Community Clinic CFO Nick Cutler used his allotted three minutes to address some concerns raised over the recently proposed housing and clinic complex for homeless young adults.
The Center of Hope, proposed for a vacant six-acre lot behind Grocery Outlet on Churn Creek Road, would provide housing for 18 young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 as well as comprehensive “wrap-around” services including medical, dental, mental health, job training and addiction therapy for youth and young adults in the homeless community. Construction of the 43,000-square-foot project would begin in 2018 with a grand opening in 2020.
Concerns over the project quickly surfaced, with some community members worried it will attract sex offenders, addicts and homeless people to the neighborhood and nearby schools.
Cutler said the center will partner with Shasta College and the California Heritage Youthbuild Academy, a charter school for 16- to 24-year-olds seeking a high school diploma and job skills. Center of Hope will house students “already committed to working hard and improving their lives.”
The center will be under 24-hour supervision and security officers will be present from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. during clinic hours, Cutler said. The Center of Hope will not be a homeless day center, nor does its zoning allow for services like showers and meals.
Tippin noted that the project will come under review by the planning department as well as the Planning Commission and the City Council, all of which will allow for plenty of public comment.