City of Brea Accountability Act, Measure T (November 2012)

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A City of Brea Accountability Act, Measure T ballot question was on the November 6, 2012, ballot for voters in the City of Brea in Orange County, where it was approved.

Measure T:

  • Prohibits the City of Brea’s Personnel Officer from presenting to its City Council a pay schedule for the City Manager, and other administrative officials, that exceeds 2.5 times the median household income of the City of Brea (based on United States Census Bureau).
  • The pay restriction does not apply to salaries for fire, police and other emergency public safety personnel.
  • Limits the term of any City Manager employment agreement to 3 years; this could be extended at the discretion of the City Council.
  • Requires the City Manager to reside within 4 miles of Brea City Hall; the city council could provide a limited waiver of this requirement.
  • Limits the total compensation of a member of the City Council, excluding benefits and reimbursements, to no more than is provided in California Government Code Section 36516(a).
  • Allows city council members to receive the same kinds of benefits made available to regular part time City employees including medical insurance, life insurance and pension contributions.
  • Prohibits city council members from receiving compensation or benefits after the expiration of their term in office.
  • Prohibits city council members from receiving "any other personal benefits."
  • Allows the city council and city staff to receive higher pay, if they improve the local economic base.

A simple majority vote was required for approval.

Another measure on the November 6, 2012, ballot concerning how Brea is governed was Measure U, the "Open Goverance Act".

Election results

Measure T
Approveda Yes 8,681 54.0%
Final official results from the Orange County elections office.


The "Yes on T" (Save Brea) campaign website logo


The official voter guide arguments in favor of Measure T were submitted by:

  • Keith Fullington, Brea Resident
  • Robert Kowell, Author of Voter Approved Murrieta Measures D & E
  • Desare Ferraro, Founder/Leader, North Orange County Conservative Coalition
  • Connie Lanzisera, Leader, North Orange County Conservative Coalition
  • Paul Ruiz, President, California Republican Assembly (Brea)

Arguments in favor

Arguments presented in favor of Measure T in the official voter guide included:

  • "This measure limits new City Manager salaries to 2.5 times the Brea median household income. This is a fair way of compensating our City Manager."
  • "Governor Brown manages approximately 335,000 employees and is responsible for all state residents estimated in 2011 at over 37 million. Brea's City Manager manages fewer than 500 employees and supports lss than 45,000 residents."
  • "Compared with other elected officials, there is no reason Brea’s City Manager should make more than some in much higher office and some with much higher responsibility. For example, Governor Brown will receive a 5% pay cut ($165,288). Vote YES if you believe our city manager should NOT make more than Governor Brown, the commanding generals in Iraq and Afghanistan or the Anaheim City Manager (a city of over 336,000 residents)."
  • "Allowing large salaries for city managers was never the intention of our Founding Fathers. Tying compensation to local resident incomes creates an incentive for City Council members to improve the economic base of the city."

Other arguments included:

  • "Our city manager already receives a base salary of over $24,000 per month. Council members quietly approved travel allowances (up to $4,200 for each council member plus $11,000 for the city manager). Why should Brea taxpayers pay for council members and/or the city manager to regularly travel outside the U.S.?"[1]



The arguments against Measure T in the official voter guide were submitted by:

  • Don Schweitzer, Mayor of Brea
  • Brett Murdock, Mayor Pro Tempore of Brea

The Orange County Register editorialized against Measure T, saying, "Measure T seems less about accountability and more about sticking it to selected Brea officials by limiting their paychecks."[2]

Arguments against

The arguments made against Measure T in the official voter guide included:

  • "The City of Brea is a truly special place to live, work, and raise a family. Beautiful parks, community events, a vibrant downtown, award winning schools, as well as sound fiscal policies are what make Brea the City we all love to call home. These things don’t happen by accident. It is due, in large part, to the City Council’s ability to attract top-level talent to work in our award-winning organization."
  • "This measure sets an arbitrary cap on the amount the City Council can pay its upper management by not allowing any consideration of the free market. It prevents the Council from offering what we believe to be competitive salaries needed to attract quality executive-level employees. At the same time it specifically excludes public safety employees from this cap. This will cause some public safety employees to make more than those who supervise them. We currently pay at or slightly below Orange County averages for our top employees. What is this measure really trying to fix? Look around our City. Why change a successful and proven strategy? Let the free market determine the amount we pay, not an arbitrary, ill-conceived initiative."
  • "The City of Brea is a 100 million dollar corporation. Decisions made at the executive level have daily ramifications of tens of thousands of dollars. We need the skills, experience, and creativity of cutting-edge leaders. Removing the City Council’s authority to set the amount of compensation necessary would severely limit our ability to remain one of the best cities in the state."

See also

External links

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