Salary secrets: Public workers' wages made public - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

TUESDAY, October 26, 2010

Salary secrets: Public workers' wages made public

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - If you've ever wondered how much city and county employees make, here's your chance to find out. The state controller has unveiled a new website that lists the salary, pension benefits and other compensation for more than 594,000 workers throughout California.

Bell's City Manager Robert Rizzo was making over $787,000 a year. The outrage prompted a new website by the state controller. It lists the salary of every single public employee.

"While what happened in Bell was a horrible situation of abuse of power, the good part is we'll see increased transparency throughout the state of California," Lani Lutar of the San Diego Coutny Taxpayers Association said.

All 18 cities in the county were required to report their information. So far, all but Lemon Grove have complied.

City manager salaries here range from $184,000 in Imperial Beach to $285,000 in San Marcos. Imperial Beach has a graffiti program coordinator who makes $50,491 and a meter reader supervisor for the water department in Escondido makes $80,826. But if you like money, the job you really want is in Coronado where the director of golf course operations made over $130,000.

Here in the City of San Diego, the highest paid trash truck driver made about $70,000. The city's highest paid parking enforcement officer made about $68,000, but the highest paid custodian for the parks and rec department only made $38,318. Would you clean the bathrooms here for that?

Some city employees aren't too pleased with the website, saying they weren't elected and are just low-level employees who deserve privacy. But to that critics say, remember, we the taxpayers pay your salary.

"Anybody that goes into the public sector should assume that there is a certain level of information that'll be made public, including their compensation levels, and there shouldn't be anything to hide," Lutar said.

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