In November, Murrieta voters overwhelmingly supported Measure E, a proposition to limit the compensation packages offered to new hires. The limit was set at 250% of the city’s median income.

But city officials worry that the capped salaries would prevent the city from finding capable and quality employees. In the case of the city manager, the new cap would be $70,000 lower than his last year’s base salary.

Further complicating the issue was whether or not the city council could legally give up its power to set compensation. The city attorney said it could not.

But the voters who approved the measure aren’t necessarily ready to give up their win, especially after the measure passed with 2/3rds approval.

From the Press Enterprise:

An ordinance to be considered by the Murrieta City Council on Tuesday would allow the city to hire employees at salaries that exceed voter-approved limits.

The reason, council members and the city attorney said, is the limits are illegal.

The ordinance is intended as a compromise with voters who overwhelmingly approved Measure E, which sought to restrain city salaries with a strict cap.

The city attorney’s office has said the council can’t legally give up its power to set the compensation of employees. So the city’s answer has been the ordinance, which says the council must consider a number of factors before deciding what to pay top workers. The factors would include the average salary in cities of similar size, Murrieta’s median income and the candidate’s job qualifications.

Read the full article here.