The 27-page report details the total compensation of 752 full- and part-time City employees. The report even includes Costa Mesa’s five council members. The employees’ pay and benefits are broken down into 14 categories, including base pay, overtime pay, specialty pay, certification pay, leave payouts, health benefits, and City pension contributions.
The document also provides definitions for each category of pay and pension contributions, bringing additional transparency to the report.
Some of the numbers that can be gleaned from the report are shocking. 76 city employees receive total compensation packages worth more than $200,000 per year; 356 employees receive packages worth more than $100,000. 494 employees make more than the city’s median household income.
The city’s Chief Executive Officer Tom Hatch said that producing such a detailed report was tricky, but important. “It’s not the easiest trail to blaze given the sensitivity over individual salaries and benefits,” said Hatch, “but it was the right thing to do for the public.”
The city council has been exploring outsourcing a variety of city services, claiming that the salaries of its employees have become unsustainable. The report, which is the city’s second, independent report it has produced, offers evidence could further the council’s case. However it is taken, it provides a new bar for transparency in public compensation.
“I’m pleased that Costa Mesa has become a leader in providing detailed, easy-to-understand public information to the community,” said Hatch. “This employee compensation report can serve as a model for other cities to follow.
You can view the complete report here.