Word has reached the Sentinel that San Bernardino City Manager Teri Ledoux has provided an assurance to San Bernardino’s acting police chief, Eric McBride, that she will obtain for him a $10,000 raise over the $255,324.46 salary he is how receiving upon his promotion to full-fledged police chief.
It is anticipated that if McBride is to remain with the city, the “interim” or “acting” preface of his official title will be dropped no later than November 30. McBride‘s position in his discussion with Ledoux has been, according to City Hall insiders, that he is willing to remain in the acting police chief’s post until the city hires a successor to Jarrod Burguan, who retired as police chief on August 16. McBride will not accept the offer on the table that he succeed Burguan in the actual police chief’s capacity, the Sentinel is told, unless the city ups the pay he his currently receiving.
McBride and Ledoux have reportedly worked out an agreement that she will intercede on his behalf to convince the city council to take McBride up on his offer to remain as police chief for a minimum of two years with an option to remain another year if the city confers upon him a contract with a $265,324.46 annual salary, subject to a 3.5 percent increase every August 1, together with annual benefits of at least $51,750. This would mean that McBride will receive total annual compensation in the amount of at least $317,074.46 during his first year as police chief.
Ledoux has agreed to inform the city council that if the council does not agree to the $265,324.46 annual salary figure, McBride will retire.
Burguan went out on an extended leave to undergo knee surgery in February, at which point he recommended McBride as his temporary replacement as chief. Ultimately, for reasons that are not entirely clear, Burguan elected to retire last month at the age of 48. McBride is more than three years older than Burguan. With the traditional minimum retirement age for police officers being 50, McBride is eligible to retire at this point, and will have logged 28 years as a police officer next month, qualifying him for a pension equal to 82 percent of the $223,050.91 per year level of pay he was receiving as assistant police chief, which calculates out to $182,901.74. Thus, his statement that he would choose to retire if he is not given the salary he has requested has a degree of credibility.
Ledoux’s willingness to go to bat for McBride is not based solely on her belief that McBride is the best fit for the police chief position. By obtaining a raise for McBride, she will obtain a raise for herself. Ledoux’s contract as city manager carries a stipulation that she is to be paid five percent more than the police chief. In July, when she was hired, she was given a salary of $259,674, with benefits running to roughly $46,000 per year. On August 1, when McBride’s pay as acting police chief was upped by 3.5 percent to $265,324.46, the city simultaneously increased Ledoux’s salary by the same 5 percent, pushing it to $272.657.70. If McBride is granted the $265,324.46 he is seeking and which Ledoux is now set to recommend, the city will be contractually obligated to increase her salary to $278,590.68.
Ledoux has come up in the world over the last two years. In October 2017, she was employed as an administrative assistant to the city manager in La Verne, in which capacity she was receiving a yearly salary of $114,437.10 with $22,645.25 in benefits. That month, then-San Bernardino City Manager Andrea Travis-Miller persuaded Ledoux to come to work for San Bernardino and take on the role of assistant city manager. The pay range for assistant city manager in San Bernardino ran from $172,000 to $213,000 yearly. Travis-Miller arranged for Ledoux to be brought in at a significantly higher salary step than was normally provided to a newly-hired assistant city manager, such that Ledoux’s hiring in San Bernardino represented a salary boost for her well in excess of $70,000 annually. Additionally, the benefits provided to Ledoux in San Bernardino were, at over $40,000 annually, close to double those provided her in La Verne.
In April of this year, the San Bernardino City Council placed Travis-Miller on administrative leave and elevated Ledoux to the post of acting city manager, bumping her annual salary up to $212,000. In May, the council fired Travis-Miller.
An issue in play here is that neither Ledoux, 62, nor McBride, now 52, is interested in remaining with the City of San Bernardino in a long term capacity. Ledoux intends to leave the employ of San Bernardino in January 2021. McBride is not likely to remain with the city past the end of 2022. San Bernardino has been plagued over the years with a lack of continuity in its leadership.
Since 1996 San Bernardino has burned through more than a half dozen city managers – Shauna Clark, Fred Wilson, Mark Weinberg, Charles McNeely, Travis-Miller in a first stint as acting city manager, Allen Parker, Burguan, who served for slightly more than month as acting city manager in 2016, Mark Scott, and Travis-Miller in her second tour of duty, followed by Ledoux, with the average tenure in office being two years and four months. There has been only slightly better stability in the San Bernardino police chief position. Burguan succeeded Robert Handy in 2013. Handy was in place a total of 26 months. Keith Kilmer, who preceded Handy, was in place 21 months. Michael Bildt was police chief from 2006 until 2009. Garret Zimmon remained as chief for nearly four years from 2002 until 2006. Lee Dean lasted as police chief from 1996 to 2001. Wayne Harp was in place from 1995 until 1996. Daniel Robbins remained in the police chief role from 1989 to 1995. Donald Burnett was San Bernardino police chief from 1986 until 1989.
Other than the likelihood that he will not remain in place as police chief very long, depriving the city of the sustained continuity of leadership the city has consistently lacked over the last generation, McBride boasts an impressive set of credentials.
Though he did not attend college out of high school, having enlisted in the Marine Corps at the age of 18, later in life McBride obtained a bachelor of science degree in political science from California Baptist University and a master of science degree in criminal justice from Troy University, augmented by a certificate in emergency management from Auburn University, as well as certification from the FBI National Academy and certification in executive leadership from the Naval Postgraduate School. He also graduated from the Police Officers and Standards Training Command College in its 56th class. He spent six years and six months in the Marines, mostly as an anti-tank assault guided missileman in the infantry. He began with the San Bernardino Police Department as a patrol officer in 1991, with assignments as a member of the special weapons and assault team and as a field training officer. In 2002, he promoted to detective, working in the department’s narcotics division. He advanced to sergeant in 2004, in which rank he worked as a patrol supervisor, as a special weapons and assault team leader, and in internal affairs. He achieved the rank of lieutenant in 2011, overseeing the special events, emergency operations, records and dispatch divisions. He spent a mere five months as captain in 2014, at which point he was appointed assistant chief of police.
In addition, as a resident of the City of Hemet, McBride served a short time on that city’s planning commission in 2006, and later that year was elected to the Hemet City Council, subsequently serving a stint as mayor. While he was in his elected capacity with Hemet, McBride was appointed as a voting member of the Riverside Transit Agency as well as a member and later vice-chairman of the California League of Cities Public Safety Policy Committee.
In 2015, the City of El Monte hired McBride as its police chief, but after criticism regarding his participation in what was deemed aggressive anti-illegal immigration policies in Hemet, McBride opted not to take the job in that city in which roughly 69 percent, or 79,754 of its 115,586 population self-identifies as Latino.