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Annual Salary of San Ramon City Manager Shocking

Original post made by jrm, Vista Grande Elementary School, on Aug 10, 2010

Wow...there was an article posted in the San Ramon Express recently (I can't seem to find it now, curiously) that highlighted the fact the SR Mgr has an annual salary of $380,000 which substantially exceeds other cities of SR size around the Bay Area. His salary has evidently almost doubled since his return to the post. The sad situation in Bell has blown the cover of this covert rip off. Herb may be great, but does he really deserve this largesse? I had a volunteer for Abram Wilson come to my door this morning and I asked him why Mr. Wilson has allowed this outrageous salary escalation. He had no answer of course but this will be an issue in my mind when Abram comes stumping for votes in Danville in the months ahead. This impacts us in Danville as of course Mr Calabrigo's salary is regionally driven.

Comments (31)

Posted by jrm
a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Aug 10, 2010 at 8:14 pm

jrm is a registered user.

I stand corrected....Herb makes a base of $356,000......I found the article in another other salaries amongst the full time staffers at city offices is WAY out of control....Randy Borenstein investigation here we come....okay, here is the elephant in the much are we paying Joe Calibrigo and what are our pension obligations?

Posted by Really?
a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 11, 2010 at 6:54 am

I agree, that is an obscene amount of money. Some friends and I joked that we should encourage our middle school aged kids to study city management in college so we can be well taken care of in our old age. Forget becoming a brain surgeon or curing cancer. This would be much more lucrative!
I cannot imagine what an official like that does to deserve that amount of money.

Posted by Mike
a resident of Blackhawk
on Aug 11, 2010 at 7:53 am

I suggest that a credible person should compile a report that details the total compensation of, say, the city manager and highest earning 3 manager's and compares these numbers to similar positions in Contra Costa and the Bay Area. This report should then be presented to the public.

Even if some unprofessional actions did not occur (as in Bell) it seems, given our economic climate, that these wages are out of line. If the city is not acting in the best interests of the public in this matter, can we trust them to wisely allocate funds in other areas e.g. schools?

Posted by Ralph Hoffmann
a resident of Walnut Creek
on Aug 11, 2010 at 9:20 am

This info is all on . San Ramon wouldn't provide their info at first. Would anyone vote for Abram Wilson (who's responsible for Herb Moniz' Salary) after this?

Posted by Paul Clark
a resident of Danville
on Aug 11, 2010 at 9:46 am

We need to ask the Danville Town Council to publish the list the salaries of everyone on the Town's payroll immediately. This is just another example of the unholy alliance between the elected councils and their paid administrators. Further, San Ramon needs to understand what role Abram Wilson played in providing this guy with his outrageous pay package. I have supported Wilson in his past political endeavors, but if this is how he operates, count me out.

Posted by member
a resident of Danville
on Aug 11, 2010 at 10:01 am

Here is a referenceable link to CA state workers salaries - which by law, is public information. Not that public officials have to be forthcoming with that information.
Web Link

SR salaries for their top tier positions seem to be at least 30% higher than comprable positions in comprable sized cities. Cutting services should start with overpaid and underworked 'managers'

Posted by psmacintosh
a resident of Danville
on Aug 11, 2010 at 10:05 am

I read (over 15 years ago) some statistics along the lines that, for every eight workers, one was a Fed government worker (and that the ratio was 5-to-1 if you included ALL govt workers: State and local). The gist of that always stuck in my mind.
I wonder what the statistics are today?? What is the percentage of non-government workers to govt workers? How many non-govt employees (and at what earned income) is needed to pay for ALL of the govt employees, especially with some of the high salaries, high benefits, union pensions, and relatively low entry barriers (as to education/etc) involved with many govt jobs??

The real story here is not new News! The bottom-line is that government has been allowed to become TOO HUGE and to encroach too far into the sector of Private Industry responsibilities.
This is not really an issue about San Ramon or Abrams (in spite of jrm's jab and twist). It is about the constant past advances of BIG GOVT across the entire nation and at all levels: Fed, State, local.
So, which type of politicians have most promoted BIG GOVT (and big govt spending programs): liberals or conservatives? Which type of politicians are most trying to fight the expansive spread and costs of Big Govt, to hold down the increase of costs?
Originally in the United States, all government had to be paid for by a simple Head Tax--an equal annual amount paid by every citizen for the cost of government. This was the only type of tax allowed by the Constitution. This had a built-in limiting effect on the size and cost of Govt. Back then, barring a national war, government was actually small enough (and part time enough) to be paid for in such manner.
It didn't take politicians long to figure out how to "tax" us to raise more money and to enlarge Govt!

Posted by Bill
a resident of Danville
on Aug 11, 2010 at 10:54 am

A rule of thumb that I have used in how I evaluate extreme salaries and bonuses is that the recipient (and the team) must bring in extra funds and/or save the company or entity at least 10 times the amount of their salaries, benefits and bonuses each and every year. Of course, this savings must not be at the expense of others (like firing or polluting.)

This is how I justified my bonuses and salaries when I worked for government and private enterprises. Otherwise one pushes paper for a wage.

Posted by jrm
a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Aug 11, 2010 at 12:41 pm

jrm is a registered user.

This information is now public after San Ramon's initial reluctance to release: Current compensation--

City Manager.............................$356,000
Parks and Community Services Director....$273,000
Engineering Svcs Dir.....................$213,000
City Attorney............................$207,000
Administrative Svcs Dir..................$207,000
Planning & Community Development Dir.....$203,000

Those figures are just the salaries and are not the "fully loaded" actual financial costs per annum. To be clear, I'm sure these are honest hard working friends and neighbors of ours and this "salary creep" is indeed statewide, but it simply is not sustainable from a total cost standpoint and from pure pragmatic business analysis. I was inclined to vote for Abram but this has to be addressed since a large part of his message is that of "look at what I have done in San Ramon". To me it seems the tail has been wagging the dog and the Mayor and City Council have been asleep at the switch on salary expenses.

Posted by American
a resident of Danville
on Aug 11, 2010 at 1:22 pm

JRM: Nice work, thank you for bringing this info to our attention...Although I usually do not agree with your opinions on most things, the ridiculous amount of money San Ramon pays these people is outrageous and should garner bipartisan opposition...Personally, I think the worst of the worst is paying a "Parks and Recs" Director $273,000 a year, with is actually $66,000 more than they pay the city attorney(who probably should be the highest paid employee, based on education, and savings from not having to pay outside law firms that bill per hour)However, I do not immediately throw their mayor under the bus, as it is possible these employees were granted contracts prior to his election, or that the city council members approved these outrageous wages over his opposition...I would wait and see if he voted for, against, or not at all these ridiculous wages, before jumping to the conclusion that he is to blame for this mess...As a little league coach for years, I am also upset that families had to pay more than they should have to use the fields, which was obviously due to the city needing to make up enough money to pay the "Parks and Rec" Director $273,000 per year...Any way, good job, JRM.

Posted by k
a resident of Danville
on Aug 11, 2010 at 3:22 pm

This is not a surprise. Salaries of people of this standing all over the state are coming out in the news. They need to cut their salaries in half and rehire some working-class people that have been let go. This is just one reason why our state is in such a financial ME$$.

Posted by Jim
a resident of Danville
on Aug 11, 2010 at 3:32 pm

The salaries cited are absurdly high. I am sure there must be some type of misprint. No City Council in their right mind would approve such salaries. They must 2 or 3 year figures or include 2 or 3 years benefits, whatever they are.

Posted by Farmer Dave
a resident of another community
on Aug 11, 2010 at 6:31 pm

Farmer Dave is a registered user.

For those who can't be bothered to research it, here are the top salaries paid to Town of Danville employees. They are not out of line like the San Ramon numbers.

Calabrigo Joseph A TOWNMGR TOWN MGR $207,312 $0 $29,262 $236,574 Danville
Ewing Robert B CITYATTY LEGAL SER $182,866 $0 $9,633 $192,499 Danville
Lake Steve C DEVSERDIR DEV SERV $144,450 $0 $4,783 $149,233 Danville
Somers Marcia L ASSTTNMGR TOWN MGR $141,658 $0 $3,600 $145,258 Danville
Williams Tai J TRANSPDIR DEV SERV $135,565 $0 $8,257 $143,822 Danville
Hudson Elizabeth H FINDIRTREA FINANCE $132,008 $0 $3,600 $135,608 Danville
Gailey Kevin J CHIEFPLNG PLANNING $113,532 $0 $5,043 $118,575 Danville
Gilbert Gregory D EMERPREPAR POLICE $105,204 $0 $6,112 $111,316 Danville
Phoenix Denise M HUMRESMGR HR $109,140 $0 $641 $109,781 Danville
Leontiades Michael J CBO BLDG INSP $104,439 $0 $5,043 $109,482 Danville
Johnson Jed C MAINSERMGR MAINT ADMI $107,264 $0 $0 $107,264 Danville
Collins Renee L INFSYSMGR IS $107,006 $0 $0 $107,006 Danville
Stella Michael A SRCIVILENG ENGINEER $99,436 $0 $1,443 $100,879 Danville
Crompton David T PRINPLNR PLANNING $97,488 $0 $1,443 $98,931 Danville
Shakerin Nazanin TRAFFICENG TRANS $97,488 $0 $941 $98,429 Danville
Lacy Michelle D RECSERMGR PARK REC $93,451 $0 $1,443 $94,894 Danville
Bergman Jill L ECDEVCOORD DEV SERV $92,749 $0 $1,992 $94,740 Danville
Sunseri-Lax Marie J CITY CLERK TOWN MGR $94,258 $0 $0 $94,258 Danville
Salzman Clay M PLANSEXAM BLDG INSP $88,997 $0 $1,443 $90,440 Danville
Flotten Rochelle A ASTTTWNMGR TOWN MGR $89,780 $0 $0 $89,780 Danville
Mack Andrew R CENGASSOC ENGINEER $88,200 $0 $1,443 $89,643 Danville
Korbmacher Fred DEVCOORD BLDG INSP $88,200 $0 $1,443 $89,643 Danville
Russell Robert M LANDARCH ENGINEER $86,617 $0 $1,443 $88,060 Danville
Parke Jim W MAINTSUPVR STR MAINT $80,853 $0 $5,723 $86,576 Danville
Ha Lan T FINSVSUPVR FINANCE $83,873 $0 $0 $83,873 Danville

Posted by Resident 47 years
a resident of Danville
on Aug 11, 2010 at 6:34 pm

DANVILLE TOWN COUNCIL, we wait to hear!!! Just what are your salaries!!! We have a right to know now!!!

Posted by jrm
a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Aug 11, 2010 at 6:34 pm

jrm is a registered user.

Jim......My initial reaction was the same as someone who works for a Fortune 500 company in a management capacity with extensive experience creating comp plans this is amazing given the pension gravy train as well. Simply not available routinely in the private sector. We must "Think globally, act locally" as that old saying goes. If every city says "not here anymore" this escalation will cease. It's not that our city employees are not appreciated or effective, it is rather a fact we probably can't make enough money in the private sector to pay enough taxes to fund their trends of salary and benefit creep.

Posted by Julia
a resident of Alamo
on Aug 11, 2010 at 7:25 pm only have yourself to voted the inexperienced no back bone officials into office and they put their tail between their legs when the union thugs open their mouth. You can fill in the rest.

Julia from Alamo

Posted by Mike
a resident of Blackhawk
on Aug 12, 2010 at 8:22 am

Here's comparable salaries (excluding benefits) of the various town managers. Perhaps, the appropriate persons could justify total compensation awarded?
San Ramon $356,542
Concord $263,761
Lafayette $250,026
Oakland $249,894
Berkeley $248,894
Danville $236,574
Walnut Creek $230,776
Dublin $227,478

Posted by Just Plain Hal
a resident of another community
on Aug 12, 2010 at 2:11 pm

Dear Dolores,

At coffee today with Alamo region neighborhood reps, we were reflecting on this discussion of City Managers having higher salaries than our President, Senators and Congress members. Many comments focused on Alamo's incorporation effort and the lack of a pro forma budget as a major cause of incorporation failure. That led to an interesting question of what exactly does a City Managers do that warrant such salaries. Beyond executing the directives of councils, commissions, and committees in much the same manner as industries' general manager, what makes these individuals worth their salary and benefits packages.

Neighborhoods government audit teams are creating such information for distribution to e-exchanges, but it would seem to be appropriate journalism for the EXpress editor to provide such information.


Posted by spcwt
a resident of Danville
on Aug 13, 2010 at 7:19 am


Good job for pointing this out. And here all this time, I thought you were a fan of big govt. due to your unwaivering support of Obamacare. You surprised me.

Way to go!

Posted by jrm
a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Aug 13, 2010 at 10:03 am

This story actually broke in early June in a Dublin area blog and additional local media outlets have consequently published these numbers, all I did was sound an additional clarion call for us all to wake up and close the barn door to this ridiculous fleecing of us taxpayers. Indeed, according to published reports 3 of the top 5 pension recipients of our county are retired San Ramon Valley Fire chiefs. Craig Bowen retired at the age of 51 with a whopping pension of $291,000 per year, next was Deputy chief Chris Suter coming in at $267,000 and former chief Richard Probert has to get by with $255,000 per annum for the rest of his living days. To be clear I am not slamming the fire department's fine community service, this is about fiduciary responsibility on the part of our elected officials overseeing this unwarranted giveaway.
We all pay these pensions, the County pools multiple liabilities into one large fund and thankfully this has been brought to our attention by local newspapers over the last couple of years but I never really focused on this issue previously. Until now. In San Ramon's specific case many of us "old timers" will recall the years of political rancor in San Ramon's City Hall in 2002, at that time a "slow growth" majority won the City Council election. Herb was fired, candidates were fully vetted and Abram and the Council selected an individual who lasted 2 years...long story but the old pro growth faction prevailed, the new manager was let go in a very controversial move and Herb was brought back...the rest is history.
It is amazing he is the highest paid City manager in the entire Bay Area...his compensation exceeds even those of Oakland and San Jose managers, which one would think have a bit more complicated assignment in communities of their size and complexities versus San Ramon. If I may ask....what the heck DO they manage anyway that is so demanding? Police is outsourced (BTW, the SR Police chief makes $198,000) schools are run by the district, and the vaunted City Center is a field of grass. This is my money, this is our money, and the gravy train is over.

Posted by Alamo Resident
a resident of Alamo
on Aug 13, 2010 at 10:21 am

When's the last time ya'll posted your salaries??

Posted by SR Resident
a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 13, 2010 at 12:17 pm

A City Manager like Herb Moniz of San Ramon has a very long file. He was dismissed for "cause" years ago, and brought back by the old players, Abram Wilson; Dave Hudson; Jim Livingstone; without explanation,(and his file was made private). Mr. Moniz has dealings with builders; developers; bankers; investors etc..that make deals behind closed doors, without sharing these details with the public. Just ask to see the financials of the City Center Plan, and you will be refused! We should have voted these guys out. It's just one big "good 'ol boys club."

Posted by Julia
a resident of Alamo
on Aug 13, 2010 at 8:58 pm

Remember what I said...we the people only have ourselves to blame...we voted the fools into office, so now live with your actions.

Here is you new marching orders..."VOTE THEM ALL OUT" they are all brain dead and self serving.

Julia from Alamo

Posted by Leslie
a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 14, 2010 at 8:50 am

Teabag Julia?

Posted by Julia
a resident of Alamo
on Aug 14, 2010 at 11:59 am

My, My, Leslie...what an interesting comment. And Emily, you just sit back and allow this type of comment to ride in your lovely Danville publication, shame on you. You deleted others for much less. Or is it you just have no clue what Leslie said and/or meant with her remark.

Yes..."VOTE THEM ALL OUT" and start fresh. And when I say ALL I mean ALL the way to D.C. where the Manchurian President and his clown's are playing with your minds.

And in closing, Leslie you should be ashamed.

Thank you listening...Julia from Alamo

Posted by Danville Resident
a resident of Danville
on Aug 14, 2010 at 2:59 pm

I am recently retired from a major US energy corporation. In my last position, I was responsible for nearly 700 employees, multiple manufacturing sites and an international distribution network. I never earned as much as these city managers and my pension plan was not as generous as theirs.

This is a good example of how government is completely out of control. There is no reason publically funded government jobs should pay so much more than private industry positions.

Posted by WD
a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 15, 2010 at 3:02 pm

Wow, There is a lot of miss information here. No wonder the electorate is so misguided. First of all, to respond to "Mike, a resident of Blackhawk" San Ramon's City Manager's salary does in fact INCLUDE his benefits, retirement and insurance. He is required to invest in his own retirement. Don't assume you know what you are talking about w/o doing the proper research.

Also, the City of San Ramon was never reluctant to give out the city's budget. They willingly gave me one and answered all my questions when I called to clear up some things. I can make you a copy if you would like. Don't mislead people when San Ramon has been very willing to be forth coming. Also, any time you hear the Mayor speak he is encouraging people to call his office and talk with him. Has anyone taken the time to do that? Probably not. Most of you like to sit back and point fingers and blame city officials rather than find out why these things are the way they are. Do research before you post horribly inaccurate information.

Thank you,

San Ramon Dad

Posted by jrm
a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Aug 15, 2010 at 6:47 pm

jrm is a registered user.

San Ramon Dad.....your information contradicts all other sources fully vetted in the media. Your comments about Herb's incredibly generous salary are simply incorrect and reflect a lack of research and review of publicly available information. If you read today's local paper you will see they have once again published the comparative salary information amongst cities and the resultant pension obligations (currently) down the road. The public outcry from normal folks like me bristling at being fleeced will not go away. Part of this morning revelations in the paper was Mary Piepho's husband has decided to retire from his firefighting position and not seek re-election to LAFCO..not quibbling with that, that is his deserved status after years of service....I'm just curious what you and I will be paying him per annum in retirement....again, not singling him out, but as the Lafayette City Manager said..."Sunshine on these issues is good in the end"....don't you agree my fellow taxpayer? Also, I think Abram is finished as a result of this unseemly revelation....why the heck was his City Manager paid so much, brought back after being fired with cause, and his HR file sealed to everyone? I'm just saying....

Posted by American
a resident of Danville
on Aug 15, 2010 at 7:06 pm

JRM: Once again, altough I usually disagree with your opinions, I have to agree 100% with you on this. There is absolutely no reason a city manager of San Ramon should ever make more than $125,000 a year in salary, much less three times that amount. This is not a Republican or Democrat issue, but should be an American tax payer issue, that no city manager, much less a city manager of a small suburban city should make over $300,000 a year. If it turns out that the mayor of San Ramon ever voted for this ridiculous salary, I will not vote for him, even though he is a republican. We are Americans first, not politcal party people, and it time for America to use a little common sense and cut these run away salaries for government jobs. JRM: I have new found respect for you, as long as you stay away from trying to convince me that Obama's socialized health care is a good thing. God bless America, and God bless JRM.

Posted by jrm
a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Aug 15, 2010 at 9:21 pm

Yo American...fair is fair and I just wanted to say I appreciate your comments in this avenue of welcome free speech. Quick healthcare comment...I only feel the way I do on this issue because I have over 15 years experience in what I call the "medical industrial complex" (Eisenhauer historians take note) 11 years on the provider side (P&L responsibility for $25 Million) and 3 years as an exec with Anthem BCBS..and ample personal experience with the vagaries of cancer coverage which I have covered earlier. It is not "Obamacare" my friend, consider it "Nixoncare" because he was the first to try to get it through but it was sidetracked by Vietnam and Watergate..
But I reiterate, our Civic servants are great but we now are saying wait a minute....umm....this has to stop right here. No one in the private sector can retire at the age of 51 with a defined pension of $291,000 per year, at least not in my industry. Moreover, if I read things correctly, Herb will retire with at least $300K per year......Abram....honestly, did you think this was okay and we would never find out? I was seriously inclined to vote for him until this came out. Not to be xenophobic but it seems San Ramon politics are the exact opposite my town's culture.
In closing I'm sure I would have been happy American was my son's baseball coach and be grateful his time spent. We may not agree on everything but at the end of the day this kind of creative political friction creates a residue that binds us together...okay, let's go make money tomorrow to pay those whopping salaries folks!

Posted by jw
a resident of San Ramon Valley High School
on Aug 22, 2010 at 4:04 pm

San Ramon Dad is too hard on Joe public. The system should note be this complicated. Based on what I have read, the PERS retirement fund is under funded which means the any deficit must be borne by the taxpayers in the form of reduced services or tax increases. If this is indeed the case, the CM's salary excludes this liability.

It appears that those in a fiduciary position are overcome by self interests and the system's checks and balances have been comprised. It is confusing why the public is being required to over pay for services during the most severe recession in a lifetime. San Ramon may be a leader is tay dollar abuse, but it does not appear to be the exception.

A. Wilson seems to be a product of his environment. A good person trying to go his civic duty but corrupted by a system marinated in greed by those within and in control. Sorry Abram, can't support you or anyone else that is now part of a very broken system.

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