LA VERNE - City Manager Martin R. Lomeli will receive a 10 percent increase of his base salary.

The City Council approved the increase Tuesday night by a 4-1 vote.

Later in the week, Lomeli said he was "very grateful" for the increase.

The increase was a management performance award, city officials said.

Lomeli's pay had been $14,741 a month and now will be $16,215 a month, or $194,580 a year.

He became city manager of La Verne in 1987 after starting with the city in 1981.

"It's a great community, great staff and a great council. I enjoy my work," Lomeli said.

No residents at the meeting spoke against the raise. Councilman Steven Johnson voted against the increase.

"I did not support it last year, and I do not support it this year," Johnson said.

Johnson said he objected to the increase because of its effect on Lomeli's retirement benefits.

"It's a salary I can't support at this time," Johnson said.

Mayor Jon Blickenstaff was in support of Lomeli's raise and said a survey of 14 city manager salaries in the immediate area showed La Verne was in the middle of the pack.

Blickenstaff said Lomeli's salary would be 1.1 percent above the median.

"The small adjustment of salary based on merit is well deserved in my opinion," Blickenstaff said. "It would cost a lot more money if we didn't have good people."

Lomeli's new salary is less than the salaries of city managers in three nearby cities - Montclair, Azusa and Claremont.

Montclair's city manager makes $21,459 a month. Azusa's city manager makes $16,882 a month. The city manager in Claremont makes $17,110 a month.

Lomeli noted he was paid less than several cities, including San Dimas, Chino and Upland, paid their city managers of less than 20 years.