At its December 2021 meeting, the City Council of Big Bear Lake voted 4-1 to grant the City Manager a $20,000 pay bonus. Councilman Lee was the lone dissenting vote to oppose the bonus. Councilman Lee objected to the additional salary enhancement by pointing out that the City Manager, Mr. Frank Rush, had been employed by the City for less than 2 years, and had already received three (3) pay raises in that short period of time. 

Just prior to his employment with the City of Big Bear Lake, Mr. Rush worked as the City Manager for the resort community of South Lake Tahoe for less than 1-year. South Lake Tahoe's workforce and budget are much larger than the City of Big Bear Lake's workforce and budget, and their city population is four times the size of Big Bear Lake's population. Mr. Rush's salary at South Lake Tahoe was $200,000 annually. His salary at Big Bear Lake has quickly swelled to over a quarter of a million dollars a year, to a whopping $258,125 annually. When factoring in his benefits, Mr. Rush's yearly salary balloons to $366,298.

Councilman Lee pointed out that the City of Big Bear Lake had never granted any other City Manager a bonus in the history of the City. Councilman Lee further expressed concerns regarding the message the City Council was sending to other employees not receiving extra pay. Councilman Lee said, "It's fiscally irresponsible to spend taxpayer's money on a bonus to its highest paid public employee. This has been a tough year for our Big Bear Valley residents, with many being displaced from their homes and losing their jobs. I could not, in good conscience, give the City Manager that type of bonus. It would have been a betrayal of public trust,” said Councilman Lee.

In addition to Mr. Rush's high salary, he receives two (2) taxpayers' subsidized retirement plans, a car allowance and several other perks.