We have been following a report about city manager compensation that is being relayed by the O.C. Watchdog via students of Brandman/Chapman and Pepperdine universities.

The blog discusses the difficulty of obtaining information from cities, who despite calls for transparency, haven’t been very cooperative.

Here’s the latest:

So perhaps it’s not surprising that the report failed to include the fact that the city administrator of Huntington Beach, Fred Wilson (right), receives $28,500 per year as part of a $200,000 “forgivable” loan provided by the city, as an incentive for him to live in the city he manages.

We reviewed the information submitted to the authors of the report by Huntington Beach and it does not appear that they tried to conceal the loan:

  • In an e-mail to the authors, Huntington Beach administrators listed Wilson’s salary and benefits, but failed to include the loan forgiveness policy. That lead the authors of the report to question whether the city had been fully forthcoming in providing information under their public records request.
  • But the city also provided the authors with a copy of Wilson’s contract, which clearly states – on page 3 in fact -the availability of the loan in question. Read his contract here

Lori Paine, a Huntington Beach spokesperson, said that the figure likely wasn’t included because its human resources department responded specifically to a request for “salary and benefits.” Though the loan might seem like a pretty clear benefit to most folks – and though it appears in Wilson’s contract under the words “OTHER BENEFITS,” it would not be included under such a request, Paine said.

To read the whole story, click here.