Mayor Robert Garcia oversees the state’s seventh largest city but is the state’s fourth highest paid mayor. File Photo
If you ever wanted to know what your elected officials are bringing home, the California State Controller’s Office announced a new addition to its website which includes self-reported data from cities and counties representing over $44 billion in wages paid with California taxpayer dollars.
The Government Compensation in California web page updates allow users to view compensation, view top earners in regions and cities, customize searches by employer and build and export custom graphics and charts of pay data. Similar data has been available for years through Transparent California, a government compensation-tracking website.
According to the most recent data provided to the state (2016), Mayor Robert Garcia is the fourth highest paid mayor in the state at $143,419, ranking below the mayors of San Francisco ($297,387), Los Angeles ($246,303) and Oakland ($212,000).
Long Beach City Council members, which according to the data make about $41,000 per year, rank in the mid-90s out of about 2,500 city council persons’ pay data submitted to the state controller’s office.
The highest paid employee in the City of Long Beach was Jon Walter Slangerup who, before he resigned in September, served as the chief executive of the Harbor Department. Slangerup made nearly $360,000 annually in compensation and benefits. Rounding out the top 5 behind him are City Manager Pat West ($285,713), City Attorney Charles Parkin ($279,889), Long Beach Water Department General Manager Chris Garner ($272,869) and Long Beach Fire Department Battalion Chief Jeffrey Ohs ($270,258).
Long Beach’s top paid elected officials include City Prosecutor Doug Haubert ($219,263) and City Auditor Laura Doud ($209,990) in addition to the mayor, city attorney and the council members.
Long Beach paid out a total of over $411 million in wages to city employees in addition to over $134 million in retirement and health benefits to its nearly 6,300 employees. Its average wage of $65,382 for Long Beach employees ranks just ahead of the statewide average. Those averages include all city employees ranging from janitors to the mayor’s office.
In total, the data reported to the controller’s office revealed an average compensation for California municipal employees of $65,125 in annual wages and an additional $19,258 in retirement and health benefits. Those figures were higher than the base salary averages for county government employees which stood at $64,779, however, the average annual compensation for county employees stood at $25,180 in average annual benefits.
The City of Vernon had the highest average wages for its employees at $108,673 for its 209 employees while the City of Amador, population 193, had the lowest wages, paying its 10 city employees an average of $3,586 per year.