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TV News Story on City Manager Salaries

Original post made by collins, Vista Grande Elementary School, on Sep 21, 2010

Did anyone else see the story on the nightly news about the high salaries of California City Managers? The third highest was Danville's own Town manager, at $310,00 year! Considering the Governor's salary, which our current Governor does not collect, is only about $212,00, what gives? In my opinion, the State would be more difficult to manage than our small town.

Does anyone have their own opinion on this? I welcome your comments.

Comments (16)

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Posted by Treebeard
a resident of Danville
on Sep 22, 2010 at 8:11 am

I'd also be interested in seeing assistant city managers salary data. Are they paid close to CM salary or some percent less?

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Posted by Emily West
editor of Danville Express
on Sep 22, 2010 at 1:24 pm

Emily West is a registered user.

The Town of Danville lists the salary information on the site. Joe Calabrigo's total compensation package is $312,133. It includes base salary, auto allowance, retirement, medical, pension allowance and the ability to cash out four weeks of vacation, if I'm reading it correctly. The Assistant Town Manager's salary as of FY 09-10 is listed as $145,257.

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Posted by I, auditor
a resident of Danville
on Sep 22, 2010 at 7:31 pm

hope these folks are squeaky clean (for their sake). Bell, Calif is the poster child for funds abuse. Let the audits begin!!!!

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Posted by Mimi
a resident of Danville
on Sep 23, 2010 at 8:18 am

Check out 9/23/10 sfgate article:

Web Link

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Posted by Penny
a resident of Danville
on Sep 23, 2010 at 9:10 am

The info posted on the website also includes years of service. Mr. Calabrigo has been a Town employee since 1985, so one might expect his salary to be high, even with modest annual increases. Seems reasonable.

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Posted by Julia
a resident of Alamo
on Sep 23, 2010 at 10:41 am

There's the seems a person over a quarter of a million dollars to manage the little town of Danville.

Penny...wake up my're not thinking clearly.

Julia from Alamo

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Posted by Hal
a resident of another community
on Sep 23, 2010 at 12:48 pm

Dear Dolores,

In e-exchanges this morning with corridor neighborhoods in Danville and San Ramon a question kept repeating, "how did we get to these levels of salaries for a city managers?" None of the cities have billion dollar budgets or would mostly rank as small businesses by comparison. We don't pay county supervisors such salaries and a majority of Contra Costans think the supervisors are over-paid.

So, could you focus your journalism on "How did we get HERE?"

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mimi
a resident of Danville
on Sep 23, 2010 at 12:55 pm

Most private jobs, regardless of seniority, eventually top out at what industry salary surveys report as regional salary ranges by job description. At most, people will just receive a cost of living increase if they have reached the maximum of their range. That's how private employers gauge what other employers in their region are compensating their employees. That's how private employers decide whether they can afford to stay in business, they can't expect their customers to pay more if the competition down the street is charging less. Perhaps the city/state/national government, as employers, should consider using industry salary surveys rather than think, "Oh well, we'll just push for more taxes to pay public workers, we have no competition." They should also consider taking a look at employee benefit surveys, those pensions are way skewed.

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Posted by American
a resident of Danville
on Sep 23, 2010 at 1:48 pm

Penny: You are "penny wise and pound foolish" if you think it is acceptable for a public employee of a small, suburban town like Danville, to every year get a raise, and to make over a quarter of a million dollars per year. Julia and Mimi are absolutely correct in their analysis and logic on this issue. Federal employees, military personnel, state police, etc all have ceilings, that employees hit after certain amount of years of service, and do not get an automatic raise every year. Even in the private sector, most employees will also hit a ceiling and will not get a raise every single year. It is particularly ridiculous in this horrible economy, that a public employee of a small suburban town would ever make this kind of money.

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Posted by Monique
a resident of Blackhawk
on Sep 23, 2010 at 7:16 pm

those of us working in the private sector have received may cuts to help keep our business a float, plus performing more work as those laid off duties still need to get done. State employees complain of pay cuts, they didn't get pay cuts they received furlough days.....they are still making the same hourly wage.

Government employees at all levels need to wake up and contribute like the rest of us working for private companies. The need REAL pay cuts to help balance the budget.

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Posted by Penny
a resident of Danville
on Sep 24, 2010 at 8:51 am

I think an employee, regardless of private or public sector, should qualify for pay increases based on performance. Town employees have not had increases in 3 years. Town employees are not on step increases like other cities; their annual increases are based on performance. The Town has not had to dip into reserve funds at all, like other cities, and has not had to eliminate or substantially decrease services. It's up to the individual taxpayer to decide if that makes Mr. Calabrigo and his experience worth the money; you certainly don't have to agree with me. The manager is on contract, so there is no "pay range" like other positions in a city. His merit increases are voted on by Council.

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Posted by Psmacintosh
a resident of Danville
on Sep 24, 2010 at 11:53 am

How about this type of Performance:
An employee performs at a mediocre or fair-to-poor standard and they get demoted or fired, so someone better can come in and do the job.
An employee performs their job to an average-to-good standard, then they might get stay at their job at its normal pay range (unless some else better shows up to be tried out instead).
An employee performs their job to an excellent standard and then they can earn the opportunity to take on more difficult responsibilities that then might come with higher pay.

So as long as a Housekeeper (or Gardener) do an OK job, should they just get more and more money as they work for a person longer and longer? And totally irrespective of the going cost of other competent Housekeepers or Gardeners in your area for that type of work? Is that how YOU hire and pay people on your own dime? Is that how YOU pay for service providers? Is that how YOU buy products?

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Posted by psmacintosh
a resident of Danville
on Sep 24, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Experience on the job and of the job usually makes an employee worth more than a beginner and therefore able to be paid more compensation.
But "time working the job" in itself alone should not make for more pay.

 +   Like this comment
Posted by sprtndad
a resident of Danville
on Sep 24, 2010 at 1:56 pm

It really goes to value. Does the town derive 312k worth of value from Joe Calabrigo? Hardly. In fact, let's consolidate San Ramon, Dublin, Danville, and Pleasanton and have ONE manager plus assistant. Same with the police and fire departments. Shoot, let's do that with the schools too. Eliminate the duplicate HQ's staff for all these isolated groups. We can't afford and more importantly don't NEED all these managers, city councils, maintenance workers, police chiefs, and on it goes.

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Derek
a resident of Danville
on Sep 26, 2010 at 8:47 am

Emily- Do you know if the $312,133 figure includes gas for Joe's chainsaw?

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Penny
a resident of Danville
on Oct 1, 2010 at 12:48 pm

@psmacintosh: I deliberately and purposefully said "based on performance." Good hiring practices, a probationary period that is fairly and firmly managed/evaluated, and ongoing performance management are all essential to ensuring taxpayer dollars are being spent responsibly. Most cities give annual step increases that employees earn just for being on the job. Danville city employee increases are tied to performance, more like a private sector company, in my understanding.

@sprtndad: If we wanted that system of management, we might as well be County- or State-run, thus defeating the purpose of incorporating in the first place: local control.

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