State Controller John Chiang updated his website showing the salary, pension benefits and other employee compensation for several hundred Cemetery, Electric, Financing and Construction, Facilities, Flood Control and Water Conservation, Recreation and Park, and Community Service Districts.

Last October, the Controller collected and posted wage information for more than 600,000 city and county employees. He then ordered special districts across the State to report the same information, and the first 1,285 districts were loaded between February and March of this year.

Special Districts have answered the call for information, despite the number of the districts that lack full-time or professional staffs. In many cases, this is the first time the districts had been asked to produce this information in such quantities before.

Organizations like the California Special Districts Association have been working to ensure as many of its member districts comply with the Controller’s office as possible.

According to Kyle Packham, the Legislative Director for CSDA, 96% of the association’s member districts included in the third phase complied and only 5 were listed as non-compliant. The CSDA has been focusing on increasing local accountability and transparency, and have made it the theme for their upcoming Legislative Days.

Since the Controller’s office began collecting the information in October, the CSDA has worked towards complete compliance. So far, its Phase One compliance numbers have increased to 98% and Phase Two is 97%. Non-member districts are only at 87% and 82% respectively.

Compensation information for employees of special districts is being collected and posted on the website in four phases. The third phase includes almost $357 million in payroll reported by 533 local agencies. The fourth and final phase will include any remaining special districts, such as Library, Mosquito Abatement, Conservation, Air Quality and Airport agencies.

The Local Government Compensation Reporting website covers elected officials as well as public employees. It includes the following information for each position:

  • Minimum and maximum salary ranges;
  • Actual wages paid;
  • The applicable retirement formula;
  • Any contributions by the employer to the employee’s share of pension costs;
  • Any contributions by the employer to the employee’s deferred compensation plan;
  • and Any employer payments for the employee’s health, vision and dental premium benefits.

In addition, the website shows employees who hold multiple positions within a single local government. Postings are updated weekly with any new information received.

84 percent of all special districts in the third phase followed the new reporting requirements. A list of agencies that failed to file in time for today’s launch can also be found on this website. Each non-complying agency could face a penalty of $5,000. The Controller anticipates completing the website with all special district information, along with compensation for state employees, in June of 2011.