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Ceres City Council gives raises to three department heads
• For Chief Collins, Finance Director Dias and Community Development Director Hoem
Ceres city seal

Pay increases for Ceres Police Chief Rick Collins, Community Development Director Christopher Hoem, and Finance Director Leticia Dias were approved last week by the Ceres City Council.

While salary negotiations began last year with all of the city’s employee bargaining groups resulting in agreements ratified with the Mid-Managers Group, First Line Supervisors/Confidential Group, Ceres Police Officers, Public Safety Mid-Managers, and Miscellaneous Bargaining Unit, department heads are unrepresented and negotiations occur directly with each.

The salary increases impact the city’s general fund by $65,700 in the current fiscal year.

Police Chief Collins is being placed on Step D of the five-step range for an increase of 5.66 percent, for $14,028 per month, or $168,336 per year.

The city will provide Collins enhanced retirement benefits pursuant to the 3 percent at 50 formula.

Community Development Director Hoem is being placed at Step A of the range for an increase of 6.64 percent for $11,535 per month, or $138,420 per year. As far as retirement benefits go, the city will provide enhanced retirement benefits pursuant to the two percent at 55 formula.

Finance Director Dias is placed at Step B of the range for an increase of 5.69 percent, for $12,112 per month, or $145,344 annually.

Because they were working for the city as of March 1, 2020, both Chief Collins and Director Dias will receive a one-time lump sum payment of $5,000 from ARPA funds as “essential workers” and another $5,000 if they are still employed with the city as of Oct. 1 of this year. Hoem was hired in August 2021 and only qualifies for a single $5,000 payout of COVID funds if he is still employed by Oct. 1, 2022. 

As an educational incentive, the city is offering to pay all three department heads a 12 percent pay incentive if he earns a master’s degree.

The city is currently seeking to hire a director of Engineering, Human Resources and Public Works.