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What City Leader Annual Salaries Cost Per Resident

— Officials’ salaries weigh more heavily on the pocketbooks of taxpayers in the county’s smaller cities.

Each year city officials’ salaries cost Del Mar’s 4,543 residents about $43.58 a piece. Del Mar’s City Council members earn $3,600 a year.

San Diego City Council members make more than 20 times as much, but their salaries cost people who live in San Diego just $.73 a year.

For a breakdown of salaries for city leaders on a map of San Diego County, see here.

Scroll over the bars below to see the exact cost per resident for city leader salaries in each San Diego County municipality.

[ Please see Editor's note below ]

Audio

Aired 8/5/10

Following revelations that the city manager of the small city of Bell in Los Angeles County was paid almost $800,000 a year, KPBS surveyed the salaries of city managers in cities around San Diego County. Officials’ salaries weigh more heavily on the pocketbooks of taxpayers in the county’s smaller cities.

Following revelations that the city manager of the small city of Bell in Los Angeles County was paid almost $800,000 a year, KPBS surveyed the salaries of city managers in cities around San Diego County

Their salaries range between $180,000 to $250,000 a year.

In the case of the City of San Diego, the mayor has taken on the executive role of the city manager, but there is a Chief Operating Officer.

All the city managers are paid well over twice as much as the mayor in each city, in some cases as much as twenty times more than the mayor.

Douglas Johnson, a research fellow with the Rose Institute for State and Local Governments, says there’s a reason for that.

“The biggest factor in city manager pay tends to be experience,” Johnson said, “It’s a very, very hard job, and the last numbers I saw from the League of Cities were that the average city manager lasts about two and a half years.”

The highest paid city managers in the county, after the City of San Diego, are the managers of El Cajon and San Marcos, the sixth and eighth largest cities in the county. They earn over $240,000 a year, and have each worked for their respective cities for more than 20 years.

Data was originally embedded within interactive charts but the data was lost after Swivel went out of business.

Comments

Avatar for user 'melshap'

melshap | August 6, 2010 at 10:49 a.m. ― 3 years, 8 months ago

Please post their contributions to pension funds,how long to serve before vesting and how much they will get from their pension

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'Natalie Walsh'

Natalie Walsh, KPBS Staff | August 6, 2010 at 11:34 a.m. ― 3 years, 8 months ago

Dear melshap,

Thank you for your suggestion that we post additional information that would look at pension contributions for city officials. It is a great idea and one that would help complete the picture of costs. If we are able to research this information further, we will provide it to the public.

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