Encinitas formalizes contract for new city manager

Pamela Antil
Pamela Antil, Santa Barbara’s assistant city manager, is scheduled to start work Oct. 12.

(Courtesy of Pamela Antil)

The Encinitas City Council unanimously approved an employment contract Wednesday, Sept. 9, for its new city manager, Pamela Antil.

Mayor Catherine Blakespear said she was excited about Antil’s energy and enthusiasm for the job, saying that’s part of what made Antil a great pick.

Councilman Joe Mosca, who served with Blakespear on the subcommittee that negotiated Antil’s employment contract, said he echoed her comments, while Councilman Tony Kranz declared, “I, too, am excited.”

Antil, currently the assistant city manager in Santa Barbara, said she was “so humbled and beyond excited” to be hired as the city’s next manager. She said her family is already packing up to move to their new home.

“My family and I can’t wait to move south,” she said, adding, “We’re super, super excited to become a part of the community.”

Antil, 55, is scheduled to start work Oct. 12. Her newly approved employment contract calls for her to receive a $250,000 yearly base salary, plus $15,000 paid into a retirement plan. In addition to her salary, her contract calls for her to collect a monthly car allowance of $500 and a monthly cell phone allowance of $100.

Councilwoman Jody Hubbard said that as city manager Antil will essentially be on call 24/7 should the city experience any emergency situations, and she’ll “earn every dollar” that she’s paid because being a city manager is a very difficult job.

Mosca noted that both Antil’s proposed salary and her annual retirement plan payment are several thousand dollars lower than that received by her predecessor, Karen Brust, who retired in June. He added that Antil’s salary also is “slightly below” the median figure of other comparable city managers, but those people weren’t hired during these tough economic times.

“The salary, I think, is a very prudent salary,” he said.

Antil will receive some additional money that Brust didn’t get. The council has agreed to give her up to $12,000 to cover moving expenses, and she’s eligible for up to $25,000 in rental assistance to help her during her first five months in the area.

Brust, who was the city manager of San Juan Capistrano when she took the Encinitas job, didn’t get these payments, but she didn’t need them. She lived in Encinitas when she became city manager five years ago, Blakespear noted.

The city received some 60 applicants for the job, and the council interviewed its top six candidates. Blakespear said she was impressed with how quickly the council was able to review the applicants, conduct the interviews, and get someone hired.

“Everybody had a sense of urgency about it,” she said.

Antil has served as Santa Barbara’s assistant city manager since 2015. Prior to that, she spent nine months as assistant city manager in San Jose and before that four years as assistant city manager in Palo Alto. She has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University and a master’s degree in public administration from California State University, Long Beach.

She and her husband David, a digital media executive, have two children, Peyton, a sophomore at San Diego State University, and Sydney, who’s a junior at Boston University.

—- Barbara Henry is a freelance writer for The San Diego Union-Tribune