The City Council has approved raising the pay for Deputy City Manager Joe Lopez as he serves as acting city manager, from $175,946 to $198,000 per year.
Lopez, 41, has worked for Modesto since January 2012, serving as human resources director, interim information technology director, administrative services director and as deputy city manager. He is replacing Jim Holgersson, who served as city manager for nearly three years until his ouster in March.
Mayor Ted Brandvold has said Modesto will conduct a national search for its next city manager, and Lopez has said he would apply for the job.
The council at its Tuesday meeting also:
▪ ▪ Approved hiring Dokken Engineering for $6.4 million for the plans, specifications and estimates for phase one of the Highway 132 project, which would build a new alignment of the two-lane highway between Highway 99 and Dakota Avenue. The money to pay Dokken would come from $10 million the council authorized for phase one work. The $10 million includes $4 million from the city’s streets capital facilities fees and $6 million from Measure L. The measure is a countywide transportation tax approved by voters in November. The $6 million would be from money designated for regional projects and not the funding Modesto receives to fix local streets.
▪ Changed a land use policy to allow gas station-convenience stores in part of the Kiernan Business Park Specific Plan in northwest Modesto. The amendment is related to Jivtesh Gill’s plan to build a gas station-convenience store and other buildings on nearly 4 acres at the northeast corner of Dale Road and Bangs Avenue. The plan has drawn opposition from homeowners in the nearby Fleur De Ville gated community. The matter also has taken considerable time, with the Planning Commission considering it several times before sending it to the council.
▪ Met in closed session to discuss a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city after officers entered a home without a warrant or permission during a 2015 civil dispute involving a landlord and tenant. Modesto has agreed to pay homeowner Patricia Mugrauger and her adult son more than $800,000. Modesto also is responsible for their legal costs. There was no reportable action. Mugrauer died a week after resolving her claims against the city in January, but her attorney has said the money Modesto owes her will go to her estate.
Kevin Valine: 209-578-2316