Part of the Bay Area News Group

City manager salaries: Read it here

By Lisa Vorderbrueggen
Thursday, August 5th, 2010 at 2:42 pm in Contra Costa County, Contra Costa politics.

The scandal over the outrageous, $800,000-a-year salary of the now-departed Bell city manager has generated considerable curiosity over what top city executives make elsewhere.

Bay Area residents are in luck. This news organization in 2007 took to court an Oakland public employee union that sought to block disclosure of their wages and won. (Yes, we had to sue all the way to the Supreme Court to get access to public information. Go figure.)

We started posting salaries online in 2007 and we have continued to expand and update the database. Click here to check it out.

But numbers only tell a part of the story, of course. The ability to compare wages between cities or among those in a particular job classification is a more revealing exercise.

To that end, with the help of our database guru, Daniel Willis, I compiled a list of 62 Bay Area city and town managers and their 2009 compensations. (See below.) I ranked the managers by total compensation, city population and compensation per capita.

My Sunday column is devoted to the subject but in the interim, here is the spreadsheet.


City Managers’ Salaries

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  • Common Tater

    This table is a bit hard to read. How about a text file or CSV rather than an image?

  • Common Tater

    Maybe it’s my computer and browser that I’m having a problem with.

    Can anyone else read this spreadsheet?

  • Jack Meehan

    Such information would be useful/interesting, if only it could be READ! Your communiques need upgrading!

  • Lisa Vorderbrueggen

    My apologies. I have converted this Excel spreadsheet every which way to try and improve the quality. I had hoped to avoid using a site like DocStoc because it pushes everyone through its advertising hoops, but that may be my last option. I’ll work on it.

  • Lisa Vorderbrueggen

    Okay, I’ve replaced the JPG/PNG/GIF/TIF effort with a DocStoc download that appears far more readable. Let me know if this works.

  • John W

    If anybody wants to print this instead of just looking at it on screen, you can make the print bigger by going to settings and reducing the vertical and horizontal margins down to .25.

  • Gus Morrison

    The first two columns should be deleted from your spread sheet. The first column does not match the sixth column (city) and the first column is the one which is wrong. Same with the second column (first name) which does not match the fourth column. The fourth column is right.

    Free advice on spread sheet construction – You sized the first row using you title block (1A). If you simply highlight A2:A65 and autosize width, the title will still appear as you have it and the column will be an appropriate size.

  • Lisa Vorderbrueggen

    Thanks, Gus! I’m not exactly sure how the first two columns ended up on the spreadsheet; perhaps a function of freeze panes?

  • bbox 231

    Good work and thank you for getting this data into the hands of consumers.

    The “efficiency” column (Rank/$) would be far more meaningful if you arranged cities into some kind of a S/M/L population bucket and then ranked within those sub-groups.

    THere is no way a city like Cloverdale ends up getting a city manager for 1/10th the comp package of a city like San Jose – you gotta pay the relatively high fixed cost of getting a body, but, they have (roughly) 1/10th the populace) . . . so, the cost per resident is normally much higher for a smaller city. This will be a quick rationalization as to why the data is “useless” for many.

    Try grouping (and ranking within the group) for cities of populations less than 50k – – 50 to 100k – - and greater than 100k.

    The result is a relative measure of efficiency worthy of some serious discussion.