OPINION by ALLAN COOPER
Based on some research I did recently, it would appear that the City of San Luis Obispo has the highest number of city employees per capita among ﬁve comparably sized California cities — Azusa, Covina, Dublin and Ceres. SLO also pays its city manager more than is paid the city managers of the other four comparably sized cities.
This is important to know in light of the city’s current $5 million deﬁcit, it’s unfunded liabilities and corresponding decrease in its reserve fund.
Therefore when a staff vacancy opens up, such as the assistant city manager position when Derek Johnson moves into Katie Lichtig’s position, the SLO City Council might consider leaving the assistant city manager position vacant. Or at the very least the city should consider freezing salaries at their present level. Unfortunately salary data is a little iffy because the on-line information I procured wasn’t always for the same year.
But the order of magnitude is telling particularly when comparing SLO city manager’s base salary ($212,500) with the City of Ceres
($145,084) or with the California average ($66,886).
Number of city employees per capita with comparable cities:
San Luis Obispo — 400 employees for a population of 47,536 equals 1 for every 119 residents.
Azusa City — 383 employees for a population of 46,360 equals 1 for every 121residents.
Paso Robles –171 employees for a population of 29,838 equals 1 for every 175 residents.
Covina City — 268 employees for a population of 47,796 equals 1 for every 178 residents
Dublin City — 237 employees for a population of 46,036 equals 1 for every 194 residents.
Ceres City — 202 employees for a population of 45,417 equals 1 for every 225 residents.
Number of city employees per capita with larger size cities:
Riverside — 2,500 employees for a population of 303,871 equals 1 for every 122 residents.
Santa Maria — 559 employees for a population of 103,410 equals 1 for every 185 residents.
Bakersﬁeld — 1,300 employees for a population of 365,000 equals 1 for every 281 residents.
Santa Maria (2014)
City manager $223,943 (total comp.: $239,337)
Deputy city manager $112,271 (total comp.: $140,455)
San Luis Obispo
City manager $212,500 (total comp.: $313,031)
Assistant city manager $164,718
City manager $205,500
Assistant city manager $133,034
City manager $205,008 (total comp.: $289,380)
Assistant city manager $176,520 (total comp.: $236,136)
City manager $201,000
Assistant city manager $164,861
San Jacinto (2014)
City manager $195,000 (total comp.: $235,915)
Assistant city manager (total comp.: $160,365)
City manager $145,084
Deputy city manager $134,405
California average salary:
City manager $66,886
Assistant city manager $37,537