VALLEJO (CBS) – Vallejo, a bankrupt city struggling with 12 percent unemployment and a half abandoned downtown, has just hired an expensive city manager to turn things around.

For 40 years, Phil Batchelor has been working in city government around the state; including a 17-year stint as Contra Costa County’s administrator. In an unusual move, the city of Vallejo has now hired Batchelor specifically to be an interim city manager – so it’s not a permanent position.

And his salary is not cheap. Batchelor will get paid in monthly installments of $25,000 – that’s $300,000 a year.

The city of course, has a part time mayor and city council members, so it depends on a city manager to keep everything running. On top of that, Batchelor is described as a “turnaround expert.”

“What it means is that I come into a place that’s having challenges and see if I can come up with a better outcome,” said Batchelor. .

In his video report, Joe Vazquez talks to Batchelor about his salary, an the challenges facing Vallejo.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (4)
  1. whathappened says:

    Here is the answer . Cut property taxes and eliminate building permit fees also cut sales tax by 1/2. Then mandate no person working for the city can make more than 100 thousand and get 50 percnet in retirement and work until 65 to get it. That will solve the problem Invoice will follow

  2. Lee White says:

    What a stupid move! Hiring an overpaid bureaucrat to deal with entrenched unions that would throw their young overboard before giving up a dime of pension benefits will not work. Been to Vallejo lately? I have. It’s easy to see that the place is run by a bunch of idiots who would buy into such a plan. Vallejo — the finest slum east of Richmond and west of Antioch (the latter also teeters on the brink of bankruptcy).

  3. realtorscott says:

    I live here in Vallejo and am disgusted at the waste that this city operates with… we have no police and no fire, but yet we sweep the streets, have overpaid administrators, water the city lawns… WAKE UP VALLEJOANS…

  4. Michelle Whitney says:

    Local news needs to focus on the positive. Vallejo is much more than what viewers see. We have four live theatre houses, 3 universities, a world class symphony, an amazing art scene located in downtown, decent restaurants, 2 waterfronts, vibrant communities filled with neighbors that know and care about each other; big name businesses that are moving here and established ones are moving into larger facilities; we are home to the Pirate Festival and Marine World and our Chamber of Commerce likes to say that we are close to everything! Vallejo is a great city!

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