DISCOVERY BAY -- After two years as general manager of the town's Community Services District, Rick Howard is getting a pay raise.
Howard's raise of $3,502 -- or about 3 percent -- was approved by the district's board of directors Wednesday, raising his base pay to $126,202.50.
The contract amendment gives Howard a $7,702.50 increase in base salary, but replaces his $350-per-month car allowance -- or $4,200 per year -- with a district-owned vehicle to use for district business and commuting to and from work.
The pay raise is retroactive to July 1.
Board members said they were pleased with Howard's leadership and professionalism in moving the district forward since starting in May 2010.
"He's championed a lot of improvement for this district and helped us with spending money effectively and efficiently," board President Chris Steele said. "It's money well spent."
Unlike some public agencies that have instituted hiring freezes and pay cuts, all of the employees in the Community Services District receive performance reviews -- with some receiving merit raises based on their reviews. No district employees have received pay cuts.
Howard did not receive a review following his first year, as he and the board were still trying to adjust to his new role, said Kevin Graves, board vice president.
"If you look at neighboring or similar districts, I think we're fair and on the conservative side," Graves said.
The board agreed to purchase a white Ford Escape for $23,575 plus tax as part of the contract change.
"It will give him more visibility in the town," Graves said. "Rick doesn't just go home and watch TV; he's out in the town as chamber functions and different events. He's embracing the town."
Contact Paul Burgarino at 925-779-7164. Follow him at Twitter.com/paulburgarino.