Whether you believe it’s too much money or not enough, City Managers earn a good paycheck.

But in these tough economic times for cities, increasing compensation for public work isn’t as easy to make happen.

Encinitas City Manager Phil Cotton understands this more than anyone after City Council members last week repeatedly praised his performance but postponed conversations about a possible raise.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, “Councilman Jerome Stocks proposed raising Cotton’s pay, including wages and deferred compensation, to $242,640 a year from $216,605. His last raise was in May 2007.”

The newspaper reported that Stocks said it would recognize Cotton’s performance with an increase comparable to the raises for employee groups such as firefighters and that Cotton should be rewarded for the city’s fiscal stability.

The council postponed the decision to learn more about pay levels for similar jobs.

The city put off the decision for later.