In response to a story about the city of Elk Grove considering hiring a new economic development director, reader Bruce Dale suggested: "Now they want to add a new position at city hall...Let's do a survey to find out everyone's job duties."
We thought that was a good idea. So we started by asking the city for a list of all employees, their job titles and earnings. The earnings data we received included wages, overtime, health insurance, and auto and cell phone allowances where applicable—but not other benefits like pensions. Below are the ten city employees who earned the most in 2010.
1. Laura Gill, City Manager, $218,185
2. Susan Cochran, City Attorney, $195,359
3. Robert Lehner, Chief of Police, $179,894
4. Rebecca Craig, Assistant City Manager, $171,846
5. Richard Shepard, Public Works Director, $167,554
6. Craig Potter, Police Lieutenant, $155,638
7. Michael Iannone, Police Sergeant, $151,645
8. Martin Pilcher, Police Lieutenant, $150,496
9. Robert Risedorph, Police Captain, $149,290
10. Daniel Davis, Police Sergeant, $143,807
City Manager Laura Gill leads the pack. Gill's base salary of $195,000 is roughly comparable to those of other managers of medium-sized cities in the area, and in some cases significantly less. The cities of Roseville and Rancho Cordova each pay their city managers an annual salary of just over $237,000, while Fairfield's city manager earns $198,000 in base pay. Former Sacramento interim city manager Gus Vina, who resigned in March, earned a $215,000 annual base salary.
The city's 278 employees earned an average of $82,268 last year. Most of the city's $23 million payroll went to police department employees. The city contracts with private companies for many of its services, such as public works, and those employees do not appear on the list.
In an interview with Elk Grove Patch, city human resources director Laura Brunson explained how her department determines compensation.
"We survey certain cities and the county and compare like classifications to the ones we have here," she said. "We try to set salaries based on the 80th percentile. We need to make sure we're still competitive so we can attract and retain employees."
The full list is attached to this article.