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Long Beach finalizing city manager pact

Officials said the details of a contract between Long Beach and City Manager Jack Schnirman should be finalized by March after the City Council passed a resolution last week allowing the city to enter into a contract with Schnirman.

The two-year agreement will provide security for Schnirman and clear guidelines for his responsibilities to Long Beach, said Councilman Scott Mandel.

Mandel said having a contract "puts the position on a level that's outside of political influence to some extent."

Former City Manager Charles Theofan did not have a contract, council members said, but former City Manager Glen Spiritis did, and so have others. Council president Fran Adelson said the council would follow past guidelines, but that this contract would have fewer privileges.

"There was a provision in a contract that gave the city manager a car, and that provision has been stricken," Adelson said, citing costs of gas, insurance and wear and tear. Council vice president Len Torres said the city hopes to auction off the black, eight-cylinder Chrysler 300 that Theofan drove during his tenure.

Schnirman said this contract won't have "executive days," and that he would be entitled to only as many leave days as other management employees. According to the International City/County Management Association, more than 89 percent of city managers have contracts.

"The fact that the previous city manager didn't have a contract was an exception," Schnirman said. "Some would argue that wasn't a successful structure."

The contract will reflect Schnirman's annual salary of $157,988 and will be made available to the public once finalized, council members said.

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