It's a Great Gig if You Can Latch On - Elk Grove City Among Highest Paid Municipal Employees in State

December 15, 2015 |

If you live in Elk Grove and are searching for a high paying job, you might consider dropping off an application at city hall. 

According to information complied by California State Controller Betty Yee, Elk Grove city employees are among the highest paid municipal employees in the state. Out of 468 cities in the state, Elk Grove employees are ranked 12th, or in the top three-percentile of municipal wage earners.

The average city wage for 2014 was $81,150 and each employee receives an average of $27,975 in health and retirement benefits. The average statewide municipal employee receives annual average wages of $59,614 with $17,810 in benefits. 

In one measure, employees per residents, Elk Grove beats other municipalities. The statewide average is 113 employees per resident, while Elk Grove's has one employee per 472 residents.

It should be noted that as a so-called contract city, several skilled and professional positions at Elk Grove City Hall in areas such as planning, public works and the city attorney are not city employees. Employed by contractors, if these positions were included in calculations, the employee per resident ratio would drop and the average wage would increase. 

The next closest pay of area cities is Citrus Heights which has an average wage of $63,371 and is ranked 72nd. Citrus Heights contracts with the Sacramento Sheriff's Department so police salaries are not included in their average.

Among city managers in the state, Laura Gill's 2014 earnings of $268,984 from the city put her in the top 12th-percentile of municipal executives.  

Penny Beancounter contributed to this story.    

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SteveB6509 said...

Sorry to burst your bubble but this is mainly because most of our employees are with the Police Department so this news is not a surprise. This data is not related to any sort of bubble in what the City pays - it is simply demographic information related to the employee types we have as City employees.

Also, if everyone working for the City were city employees, the average salary would go down, not up.

Warren Buffett said...

SteveB6509 and EGN, you both are right..and wrong. It is virtually impossible to measure, compare, or draw conclusions about the efficiency of local governments using these types of statistics. Average wages can be skewed as 6509 points out, and ranking city manager salaries, unless they are at the outlandish extremes such as Bob Rizzo former city manager of Bell, tell us very little about what the taxpayers are getting for their dollars.

Measuring and comparing the efficiency and productivity of private-sector businesses is so much easier. You can easily calculate operating margin, net profit margin, employees per revenue dollar, percentage of market share etc. and compare them with their market peers. As long as they comply with the laws, businesses only have to answer to their shareholders and debtors.

In a unique and anti-capitalistic way, local governments have a monopoly on the territory and the markets they serve. Sacramento County does not have to worry about Yolo County moving into their territory for example. Local governments normally don't view themselves as being profit-driven and must only merely balance their budgets each year. The bulk of their labor force are union-represented and their wages are set through collective bargaining agreements.

So how do we evaluate whether we are getting a fair return on our investment in Elk Grove? After all, there is no stock market for us to compare how the price of our "stock" has done. I suppose it is an individual assessment using benchmarks that we as individuals prefer to measure and compare. Some may use miles of bike trails per capita; number of burger joints per capita; number of museums per capita; acres of parks per capita; maybe even the ranking of your population size.

So how do you ensure that your 'investment' towards an efficient and productive Elk Grove government is paying off? Only one way: Participation! Do not let those city council chairs go unheated; demand that elections deal with the real issues and not soundbites and glossy fliers; and lastly, make your expectations known. For example, the City Council is in the process of updating their General Plan-the guiding policy document of the city for the next 20 years. Get involved!

Mad Hatter said...

Noting that it is but a single source, this information says the average income in Elk Grove is about $29,000 and median family income is $79,000. When you have the average employee at the city making roughly the same as the median family income, I would say the city employees are making more than is the norm for the community. This was the situation in Bell. We taxpayers are now the servants for our masters who oversee us at city hall.

Connie said...

Elk Grove has had some of the highest salaries in the region for many years. The Sacramento Business Journal does a regional salary comparison every year.

After the comparison in 2005 when the city of Elk Grove had all 18 of highest salaries surveyed, I wrote an op ed which the SBJ published.

Why the city of Elk Grove has higher salaries than even the city of Sacramento for the same positions which has a bigger government to manage, and even more money, is something only the Elk Grove City Council can answer.

Here is the link to the op ed:

Anonymous said...

I don't know were the EGN gets their data with Citrus Heights contracting with Sacramento County for police serves but that contract went away a long time ago, they have had their own Police Dept. for years

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