Tuesday, August 3, 2010
California Controller John Chiang says since he checks the books of California cities and counties, he’ll post the salaries of all city and county officials on his website.
SAN DIEGO A growing wave of public outrage about the salaries that officials in the city of Bell were paying themselves has resulted in a flurry of political responses. Bell’s city manager, for example, was making almost $800,000 annually, twice as much as President Barack Obama.
California’s Controller, John Chiang, says that since he checks the books of California cities and counties, he’ll post the salaries of all city and county officials on his website.
“I’m making the directive that from this day forward, I want the compensation information for each public servant,” Chiang said, speaking from his car as he left San Diego on his way back to Sacramento from a speaking engagement. “We’re going to have the information posted on my website, hopefully by November.”
Some San Diego area cities have already started to post the information on their own sites.
Oceanside City Councilman Jerry Kern says that, as of today, the city has put all employee salaries and benefits on the website, in response to several requests for information from the public.
“They’re paying our salary,” Kern said. “They should know how much they are paying us.”
The information is public but Kern said the city would save time and money by putting the details on the website, rather than responding to many individual queries.
Kern says the posted information includes benefits. He pointed out elected officials in Oceanside pay their own pension contributions.
In many cases, cities pay pension contributions for employees as part of negotiated labor agreements that augmented pension benefits rather than salaries.