Ryah Cooley

Hermosa city clerk’s salary to temporarily double

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The Hermosa Beach City Council voted Tuesday to temporarily double the city clerk’s salary.

City Clerk Elaine Doerfling, who is usually paid $2,874 per month, will now be paid about $5,748 as her hour
s are temporarily increased from part-time to full-time from July to December. The increased pay and hours are are due to an increased workload for Doerfling. With updates on the proposed oil drilling project on every council agenda, meetings routinely go til 1 a.m. and sometimes later. According to city staff, council meetings are about two hours longer on average now than they were in 2012. Only half way through 2014, all city council meetings and study sessions have totaled 121.5 hours, which is up 16 hours from last year’s total and 33 hours from 2012.

The City Council approved the raise in a 3-1 vote, with Nannette Barragan dissenting and Mayor Michael Divirgilio absent from that portion of the meeting.

Barragan expressed concerns that temporarily raising the city clerk’s salary would lead to increased costs for the city for Doerfling‘s pension. In an email from Doerfling to council members, the city clerk said that the increase in salary would be an additional cost to the city of $3,846 for pension contributions.

Doerfling, who has served as city clerk since 1989, said that it has been customary for pay to increase when the workload increases.

Council member Carolyn Petty thanked Doerfling for her service.

“We all know there is an increased workload and I want to say thank you Elaine for stepping up,” Petty said.