Which SLO County city pays their employees the most?

By Karen Velie

While six of the seven cities in San Luis Obispo County are asking for sales tax increases to make up for revenue lost during the coronavirus, administration costs take a large bite out of their budgets.

Once again, San Luis Obispo employees top the list of highest paid city employees in the county. SLO city attorney Christine Dietrick takes the number one spot with $376,602 in pay and benefits.

CalCoastNews evaluated earnings information from Transparent California, a public pay and pension database, to determine the four top-paid employees in each of the seven cities in SLO County. The totals include salary and benefits.

Compensation information for San Luis Obispo, Atascadero, Paso Robles and Pismo Beach is from 2019. The data for Grover Beach, Arroyo Grande and Morro Bay is from 2018, the last time those cities filed with Transparent California.


Four highest paid employees from each of the seven cities in SLO County


City                      Pay/Benefits    Title                        Name

San Luis Obispo $376,602 City Attorney Christine Dietrick
San Luis Obispo $368,573 Fire Captain Mark Vasquez
San Luis Obispo $358,869 Police Chief Deanna Cantrell
San Luis Obispo $343,626 City Manager Derik Johnson
Pismo Beach $301,913 City Manager James Lewis
Atascadero $300,255 City Manager Rachelle Richard
Arroyo Grande $295,270 CD Director Deborah Malicoat
Paso Robles $287,645 ES Manager Jonathan Stornetta
Paso Robles $284,339 City Manager Thomas Frutchey
Arroyo Grande $281,123 City Manager Jaes Bergman
Arroyo Grande $272,495 Police Chief Beau Pryor
Pismo Beach $266,917 Police Chief Cristopher Miller
Paso Robles $263,200 Police Chief Ty Lewis
Paso Robles $256,980 Executive Manager Julie Dahlen
Atascadero $256,688 Police Chief Jerel Haley
Grover Beach $254,413 City Manager Matthew Bronson
Morro Bay $250,588 Fire Chief Steven Knucles
Atascadero $249,529 Fire Chief Casey Bryson
Morro Bay $246,272 City Manager Scott Collins
Arroyo Grande $244,593 Police Commander Michael Martinez
Morro Bay $236,640 PW Director Robert Livick
Grover Beach $236,557 Police Chief John Peters
Pismo Beach $223,452 PW Director Benjamin Tide
Grover Beach $225,130 Admin Services Gaya Chapman
Pismo Beach $219,568 Admin Services Nadia Feeser
Atascadero $218,075 Fire Captain Dean Pericic
Morro Bay $216,260 Police Chief Gregory Allen
Grover Beach $205,756 CD Director Bruce Buckingham


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