Port Hueneme hires away city manager from Ojai. Here's what to know

James Vega
James Vega

The Port Hueneme City Council hired James Vega as city manager in a unanimous vote on Monday.

Vega currently serves as the city of Ojai’s top administrator and will bring over a decade worth of municipal experience.

“I’m grateful for the welcome, and I’m ready to get to work,” Vega said Monday.

His first day on the job will be July 17, one week earlier than anticipated, and he will earn an approximately $239,000 salary.

Resident Steven Auclair said Monday he is grateful to have Vega running the city, but he should earn more money. Auclair said Vega will be earning less than the former City Manager Brad “Brock” Conners and the new police chief.

Conners was earning about $253,760 when the council let his contract expire in February. Michael Federico, who will take over as police chief on Friday, will earn a base salary of about $254,000.

“I care about (staff) retention, and I care about pay equity,” Auclair said.

Vega currently earns about $181,000 as Ojai's city manager, according to his amended contract with the city.

The Port Hueneme City Council didn’t take action on Vega’s salary but said they’d look into it.

Councilman Steven Gama said the panel spoke about Vega’s salary during a closed-door session prior to the meeting but couldn’t discuss the conversation.

The City Council has an option to update Vega’s pay annually between a range of about $224,000 and $290,000, his contract states.

Brian J. Varela covers Oxnard, Port Hueneme and Camarillo. He can be reached at brian.varela@vcstar.com or 805-477-8014. You can also find him on Twitter @BrianVarela805.

This article originally appeared on Ventura County Star: Port Hueneme City Council hires James Vega as city manager