New SLO County public works chief to get more than $270,000 in total pay

Daniel Colt Esenwein

San Luis Obispo County selected a Santa Cruz County official to be its next public works director, and on Tuesday, the board of supervisor approved a contract which calls for him to receive a total compensation of $272,950 a year.

After former public works director Wade Horton became SLO County’s chief administrative officer last year, the county had a vacancy to fill. Following a selection process that included panel interviews and candidate presentations, Horton selected Santa Cruz County Assistant Public Works Director Daniel Colt Esenwein to fill the vacant position.

Like Horton, Esenwein is a United States Navy veteran, having served in the Navy from 1990 to 1994. Esenwein also previously worked as the deputy public works director of Stanislaus County.

Eseinwein’s contract with SLO County calls for him to begin at the third step of the salary range for public works director, which gives him a base salary of $15,082 a month, or $180,980 a year. He will receive approximately $91,970 a year in benefits.

By comparison, in 2016, Horton’s last full year as public works director, he received a base salary of $170,113 and $60,727 in benefits. Horton’s total compensation for the year was $237,409, according to the Transparent California database.

Last year, Esenwein received a base salary of $158,323 and $23,070 in benefits while working as Santa Cruz County’s assistant director of public works. His total compensation was $188,194.

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