UPDATE – The Board of Trustees voted unanimously Tuesday night to go back out and repost the chief of police job.
Cost was a factor, according to Allan Hancock College representative Andrew Masuda.
The board is also looking into upping the salary to help with recruitment.
The trustees are hoping to revisit the issue in September.
ORIGINAL STORY – Taxpayer money is up for discussion at the Allan Hancock Board of Trustees meeting Tuesday night.
The board will meet at 6 p.m. to decide whether to contract with the Santa Maria Police Department for a new police chief.
According to the college, there were two candidates for the new chief position. The most qualified candidate is currently a Santa Maria Police Department sergeant.
"He would still be an employee of the SMPD then we would do a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’. He would work for Allan Hancock, the President and the Board of Trustees; however, they are an employee of the Santa Maria Police Department," explained Commander Marc Schneider, Santa Maria Police Department.
According to Allan Hancock College, the job of police chief pays $157,000, including salary and benefits. However, because the candidate is an SMPD sergeant, retirement pay is a factor, and contracting out services to the Santa Maria Police Department would cost the college another $48,000-$93,000.
"All of their benefits would remain the same for retirement with the city," Cmdr. Schneider said. "Essentially if that were to happen, Allan Hancock College would be reimbursing us."
If the board decides to contract out services, the candidate would receive salary and benefits anywhere from $205,000-$250,000.
"This is taxpayer money; this is public state funding," said Andrew Masuda, Allan Hancock College representative. "This is why we are having this discussion so the board of trustees who were elected to this position can provide the guidance."
According to 2016 data from Transparent California, Allan Hancock College Superintendent/President Dr. Kevin Walthers receives a salary of $263,170.
Currently, Chris Nartatez is Allan Hancock’s interim police chief. Nartatez formerly served with the Santa Maria and Guadalupe police departments.
Allan Hancock College has contracted out services to the SMPD multiple times in years past. The Santa Maria Police Department does not feel it will be short-staffed.
The college also has multiple police officer positions currently open.