The City of Santa Maria is providing up to $10,000 in bonus payments to city workers who worked during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Full-time employees can receive up to $10,000 total in two payments of $5,000. They will receive a payment of $5,000 for each year worked if they worked from March 14, 2020 to March 12, 2021 and March 13, 2021 to March 11, 2022.
Employees who worked less than the 2,080 hours during a 12-month period to be considered full-time will receive their essential work payment on a prorated amount.
The first payment will go to current city employees within the next two pay periods. The second payment will go to the current city employees during the first pay period in January of 2023. This bonus pay is considered taxable income.
“I am sincerely grateful to the City leadership and our City Council," said Mark van de Kamp, City of Santa Maria Public Information Manager. "Our employees care very much about our community and during the pandemic, quickly pivoted to help keep everyone safe, maintain our services, and also provide extra assistance to those in need in many ways.”
Some residents are grateful their tax dollars are going to city employees.
"I don't know that the general public realizes how dangerous and scary it is to be working right now and as a nurse I think everyone who's working should be recognized," said Allison Miller, Santa Maria resident.
"I think they do deserve it because having workers during this pandemic and people getting sick, they're actually risking their own lives and risking their family just by going home from working, so I think they do deserve it," said Banessa Guebara, Santa Maria resident.
Others think the bonus is a bit high.
"Even though they are city workers and they are trying their best to make sure the city is looking better and as good as possible, we could be putting that money towards a little more, a little something else in the city," said Juwon Chapman, Santa Maria resident.