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Let's make a real comparison of city manager's salaries

Original post made by Rick Pshaw, Danville, on Oct 16, 2010

Buchanan's taking pot shots at the salary of the San Ramon city manager. But wait a minute - San Ramon does not have an assistant city manager. Herb Moniz is so efficient and effective at his job that they don't need one.

Compare this to Danville who, for some reason, does need an assistant city manager. City manager Joe Calabrigo's salary is $236,574 and assistant city manager Marcia Somers' salary is $145,258 for a total of $381,832. Danville has two people doing the job which San Ramon handles quite well with one person.

So where is the outrage over Danville's expenditure?

Comments (16)

Posted by Common Sense
a resident of Danville
on Oct 16, 2010 at 4:12 pm

Extremely poor justification for San Ramon's city manager salary compensation. Do you truly believe that Herb Moniz is so efficient that he is twice as good as two top professional Danville town managers? In the corporate world what is not done by the over-priced executive is actually performed by his managerial underlings.

The brown stuff rolls downhill.

The City of San Ramon may not have an assistant city manager, as you state, but San Ramon does have a Director of Adminsitrator Services and a complete department that provides a variety of services to other departments.

The Town of Danville has no such animal.

If you are serious in defending the City of San Ramon's City Manager salary, try again!

Posted by Hal
a resident of another community
on Oct 17, 2010 at 7:06 am

Do we actually know why we have city managers and all the administrative structure in city government? In the contract-services municipalities in small cities in California there is a General Manager and administrators for the committees of volunteers that perform or contract city functions.

In corporate models we have boards of directors similar to city councils that employ CEOs to operate profitable, cost-effective operations. In the cost-only model of a city government, should there be any comparison to corporate models?

It simply does raise the question of why do we have city managers and what legitimately should they cost the tax payers? and how should their performance be measured to warrant such salaries?

Your journalism on those answers would be very interesting.

[email protected]

Posted by Al P.
a resident of San Ramon
on Oct 17, 2010 at 3:38 pm

That's not really how it works in business. Just because you say you do not have an assistant does not mean you collect more pay for them. Think about it, if someone goes on vacation and you cover for them do you get paid double? I am sure Moniz has plenty of help, just not someone called an assistant. Do people think we are stupid?

Posted by Elle
a resident of Danville
on Oct 18, 2010 at 8:00 am

There is no doubt that both Danville and San Ramon have overpaid staff at taxpayer expense when compared to San Jose with over 1.1 people and a more diverse population, why does San Ramon's pay tower over as the highest? We are comparing city manager positions only and to do a fair comparison we would have to look at all the high paying positions. You are not supposed to get rich in public sector employment with guaranteed benefits and pensions for life. During the internet boom the theory was that no one wanted to become teachers, fire fighters, CHP or Prison Guards or work in service positions when they could become millionaires in high tech where even the lowliest employees were given many perks and options. What they didn't factor in that in the private sector there is risk, i.e. 401k, loss of job, no guaranteed benefits and pensions for life, pay is tied to performance to produce and if companies go bankrupt, no more COBRA benefits. Not so in public sector, the whole state is underwater yet they preserve their ridiculous benefits with little contribution and are often rehired after retirement to double dip. Unheard of in the private sector....Our state is being destroyed as a result...Many other scapegoats but this is the big one...retire at 50 in some cases and live til 90 on our backs for complete benefits and 90% of salary...highest salary including accrued vacation that can be rolled over forever...sounds like there may be a revolution.

Posted by Sprtndad
a resident of Danville
on Oct 18, 2010 at 8:56 am

What do City Managers do that is worth 236k plus lifetime free benefits? Instead of trying to answer the "how much" question, how about answering the "do we need them" question.

Does Alamo have a City Manager? Walnut Creek? Dublin? Pleasanton? Does every city need their very own City Manager?

Posted by Outraged
a resident of Danville
on Oct 18, 2010 at 9:01 am

We need to completely overhaul the compensation and benefits systems tied to the Public Sector organizations. We are writing checks that we can't pay for - and you and I are subsidizing this ridiculous lifestyle that is beyond reasonable. Take a look at the Contra Costa Times "Public Sector Salaries" link below:

Web Link

The Police and Fire groups alone are bleeding our local municipalities dry. These 'sacred cows' always play the dangerous career card to justify their outrageous salaries. It makes no since to have rank and file police and firefighters making in excess of $150k annually - take a look at the 'Top 300' paid employees at our largest Bay Area public organizations - you'll see that a vast majority are in these groups. They deserve to be fairly compensated for their jobs - but enough is enough, we need to stop this gravy train of public sector compensation and benefits now!!!!

Posted by Duffy
a resident of Danville
on Oct 18, 2010 at 9:43 am

Someone need ask Buchanan what the Supt. of Schools made while "on her watch" as Chairman of the SRVUSD Board? This is all a media pumped up electioneering by a running from behind candidate!

Posted by Catrina9
a resident of Danville
on Oct 18, 2010 at 9:56 am

I believe the Superintendent used to make 200,000 with good benefits. The new guy that was hired "under her watch" was bumped to 240,000 with those same benefits.

I'd also like to know how big of a staff, and their salaries, that Joan has following her to Sacramento...

I believe this was the only tactic her camp could think of the discredit Wilson, and it's not working.

Posted by Geoff Gillette
a resident of Danville
on Oct 18, 2010 at 1:19 pm

Geoff Gillette is a registered user.

Thank you for the question regarding the position of Assistant Town Manager in Danville.

Danville's Assistant Town Manager, Marcia Somers serves as the Department Head for both Maintenance Services and Recreation Services. Because these two departments have a combined budget of $9.5 million, the Town could choose to employ two full-time directors to oversee these groups. Instead, these are folded under the direction of the Assistant Town Manager, allowing the Town to save money by eliminating one director-level position.

In addition, Ms. Somers, performs several other duties. She serves as a liaison with a number of entities and organizations, such as the Hap Magee Ranch Joint Planning and Operations Committee. She represents the interests of the Town in negotiations with many of these organizations and works to make sure the Town continues to provide the outstanding level of service residents have come to expect.

These are only a few of the many aspects to the job of Assistant Town Manager. Should you have further questions regarding the position, I can be reached at [email protected]

Thank you.

Geoff Gillette
Public Information Coordinator
Town of Danville

Posted by Colleen
a resident of Diablo
on Oct 18, 2010 at 6:39 pm

I was talking to an acquantaince that is a SF police officer who is from NYC but could not get a job there since he had a DUI but in CA that's fine or at least SF plus salary is twice as much! The city where 911 hit and with all the chemical issues that huge city of NY make less than our police....have stricter criteria for employment.

I guess we were all asleep at the wheel when publlc service employees have the best jobs because the state is the biggest CA employer so they have the lobbies. When I started seeing firefighters with Mercedes moonlighting as real estate agents and buying multiple home in my area...I thought how can they do that? I looked into it and wondered why didn't we know this. In all fairness I think the Governor tried to change this but with the pictures of handsome firemen on TV and teachers, it was not politically feasible. The legislature will not tackle no one will and neither will Meg or Jerry because our legislature and our system will not permit this. Bell, CA was an extreme example but it goes on everywhere in every city. Due to healthcare reform, the schools will lose some Cadillac plans but I think that is only fair since how many private sector workers that support these people have Cadillac Plans. Maybe in Silicon Valley but they are not guaranteed anything for life. We need change! We need to void the pension plans and give everyone 401ks in public sector. No risk, no reward does not apply to our public employees. The money is obscene and so are the benefits

Posted by American
a resident of Danville
on Oct 18, 2010 at 7:21 pm

"Colleen": Very good points...A lot for all of us to think about, and remember who was the Governor who allowed public employees to unionize so they could essentially negotiate against themselves for run away benefits and pensions? Give you a hint: His political aid(or wife) recently called Meg Whitman a "whore".

Posted by Duffy
a resident of Danville
on Oct 19, 2010 at 9:00 am

I believe it is a political truth that when you can not point with pride to your accomplishments as a politician your only recouse is to smear the opposition!

Posted by Julia
a resident of Alamo
on Oct 19, 2010 at 10:01 am

Stop throwing rocks at those money grabbers. The problem is in the mirror. We the people are the blame...We the people allow all this to happen and We the people must put a stop to it all.

Remember the NEW battle cry and motto..."VOTE ALL THE INCUMBENTS OUT"

You just may sleep better at night.

Julia from Alamo

Can anyone tell me why the DW has us inserting this Verification Code. Hal maybe you can clear up my concern.

Posted by Emily West
editor of Danville Express
on Oct 19, 2010 at 10:36 am

Emily West is a registered user.

Hi Julia, the verification code is something we implemented to battle out of control spam comments across all of our sites.

Posted by Juli
a resident of Alamo
on Oct 19, 2010 at 10:56 am

Thank you for your response I appreciate it...I understand the reason.

Thanks again...Julia

Posted by sprtndad
a resident of Danville
on Oct 19, 2010 at 11:03 am

Okay, now that we have vetted our disdain for the inflated salaries and benefit packages for our City employees, what can be done to remedy the problem? There must be something Danville and San Ramon residents can do to end this abuse. Anyone know? Mr. Brown jumped into Bell, CA. I know he's busy trying to figure out who on his campaign called Ms. Whitman a whore (kinda like OJ Simpson looking for his wife's killer) but as AG, is he the guy to contact?

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