SF makes Fremont look miserly

Interesting salary story in the Chronicle today.

Highlights: SF Police and Firefighters signed a 2007 contract that give them 23 percent raises over four years.

And this:

The controller’s report found that San Francisco spends $458 per resident on the Police Department compared with $325 in other California cities and $239 per resident on the Fire Department compared with $111 elsewhere.

Matt Artz


  1. I don’t think that stat is fair because it implies that SF residents pay more for the same services. The city’s relatively small population has no chance of sustaining their large government and rely heavily on tourism and business taxes paid by people who live elsewhere.

    I’d even bet that the average Bay Area resident contributes more per capita to their city coffers than does the average SF resident.

  2. Marty is partly right. You get in trouble when you start trying to compare cities simply by population, especially SF. It is both a city and county, having all the social service, medical, and courts that every other county must provide, added to all the city requirements. Add to that the heavy tourist influx and other attractions which require police effort, critical mass, SF Pride, for example and you see the difference.

    One easy measure cities use is employees per thousand population where cities provide the same services. For instance, Oakland has twice the population as Fremont, but has four times the number of employees. The port is funded separately and Oakland does have their own libraries and the museum, but the difference is interesting.

    Locally, the tri cities have had essentially the same ratio, but it may have changed recently. Fremont does have an advantage because of size.

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