State Controller Updates Pay Site With More City, County Figures

State Controller John Chiang has updated his public employee compensation website with the latest wage and benefit data for California city and county employees. The site – – offers maps, search functions, and custom report-building tools. It also allows users to download raw data for their own research. This update covers calendar year 2012, the fourth full year of data for city and county employees available on the site.

The highest paid city and county positions for the year 2012 can be viewed at the bottom of this article.

“Making compensation of public employees transparent provides taxpayers with the ability to be more informed and active in local government decisions,” Chiang said. “I’m especially encouraged with the cooperation that cities and counties have provided in helping us make all government more accountable to Californians.”

Today’s update adds wage and benefit data for 637,435 positions, with more than $38.86 billion in wages paid in 2012.

Since the site’s launch in 2010, it has registered more than 6.9 million page views online. The Controller completed an overhaul of the public website in late 2012, adding additional search, browse, and mapping functions.

Special district information will be updated this coming spring, and data from the University of California is expected later in the year. The 2012 figures for State and California State University employees were updated earlier this year.

Those visiting can:

  • View compensation levels on map graphics, and search for compensation by region
  • Develop charts, trend-line and trend graphs
  • Quickly see lists of top earners at cities, counties, and other local governments
  • Generate side-by-side comparisons of local government payrolls
  • Create local agency summaries
  • Export custom reports or raw data from the site

According to Chiang, only the cities of San Mateo, Compton and Calimesa failed to file reports for this week’s update. All counties filed complete reports on-time with the Controller’s Office. See lists of delinquent local government compensation reports here.

A series of video tutorials also are available to guide users through the site’s interface. The site currently includes annual compensation data for positions at cities, counties, higher education institutions, special districts and state departments.

Here are the top 10 highest paid city positions in 2012:



Total Wages

Buena Park City Manager $545,394
Pleasant Hill City Attorney $465,209
Milpitas Fire Battalion Chief – 40 hr $461,212
Carlsbad City Manager $459,222
Fountain Valley City Manager $459,144
Menifee* City Manager $440,415
Temecula City Manager $416,994
Millbrae Fire Chief $416,931
Vernon Fire Chief $400,839
Milpitas Police Cheif $379,251

Here are the top 10 highest paid county positions in 2012:




Kern Orthopedic Surgeon-Contract $1,040,651
Kern Faculty Physician-Contract $828,287
Kern Chairman, Department Of Surgery $753,465
Santa Clara Physician – Valley Medical Center $658,521
Los Angeles Chief Physician I Int Med-General/Endocrinology $600,258
Kern Core Physician-Contract $574,530
San Joaquin Physician $557,921
Santa Clara Physician – Valley Medical Center $549,516
Santa Clara Physician – Valley Medical Center $546,830
San Joaquin Physician $546,292


* Menifee’s former city manager made $264,000 in 2012 with a base salary of $153,000. The $440,000 figure reflects his $234,000 severance package. Menifee’s current city manager has a total compensation package of $222,000 which includes $160,000 base salary.