59 percent of Sacramento Valley city workers collected over $100,000 in total compensation

Today, Transparent California released previously-unseen 2014 public employee compensation data — complete with names, pay, and benefits — for 395 cities and 44 counties statewide on TransparentCalifornia.com, the state’s largest public sector compensation database.

A survey of 30 Sacramento Valley cities, accounting for 94 percent of the region’s population, reveals that the average full-time city worker received $118,652 in total compensation last year, with nearly 59 percent having received at least $100,000.

The top three Sacramento Valley cities with the highest average compensation package for full-time, year round employees were:

  1. Folsom: $137,565
  2. Chico: $137,380
  3. Elk Grove: $136,673

Full-time Sacramento City and County workers took home an average of $108,351 and $106,941, respectively.

To view a table listing the average wages and total employee cost per resident for all cities in the Sacramento Valley, click here.

Top earners

Former Lincoln City manager James Estep cashed in over $300,000 in unused leave to boost his total 2014 compensation to $512,370, making him the top earner of the Sacramento Valley.

The four highest compensated Sacramento Valley city workers were:

  1. Lincoln City manager James Estep: $512,370
  2. Roseville City attorney Brita Bayless: $374,618.
  3. Roseville City manager Raymond Kerridge: $365,799.
  4. Citrus Heights City manager Henry Tingle: $361,899.

The three highest compensated Sacramento County workers were:

  1. Departed assistant chief deputy district attorney Marvin Stern cashed in unused leave to boost his compensation to: $410,038.
  2. Departed sheriff captain James Cooper cashed in unused leave to boost his compensation to: $391,790.
  3. County executive officer Bradley Hudson collected: $389,551.

Taxpayers have been kept in the dark about the true cost of public employees, according to Transparent California’s research director Robert Fellner.

“Government workers receive tens of thousands of dollars worth of benefits that have no comparison in the private sector. This bloat enriches special interests at the expense of both cities and taxpayers.

“Simply publicizing base salaries is inadequate given that city workers enjoy leave policies and benefit packages that dwarf what most taxpayers receive. Reporting full compensation reveals a shocking inequity between city employees and the taxpayers who must bear the cost.”

Overtime and other pay boosts earnings

The combined overtime and other pay at all Sacramento Valley cities surveyed was worth 16 percent of regular pay, as compared to the statewide average of 19 percent.

Rancho Cordova, Folsom and Elk Grove’s total overtime and other pay was the highest of any Sacramento Valley city at 30, 27 and 26 percent of regular pay, respectively.

Cost per resident

The cities of Roseville and Redding spent more on employee compensation per resident than any other Sacramento Valley city at $1,194 and $949, respectively.

Roseville’s cost was the 22nd highest of any city with a population of at least 10,000 statewide — and more than twice the Sacramento Valley regional average of $606.

City workers’ pay dwarfs taxpayers

Just-released income data from the U.S. Census Bureau reveals shocking levels of income inequality between Sacramento Valley taxpayers and city workers. The median earnings of full-time, year-round Sacramento city workers was $77,665 — 72 percent more than the $45,115 median earnings of city residents.

City workers at Chico, Citrus Heights and Yuba City had median earnings nearly double that of taxpayers.

This information for all Sacramento Valley cities is here.


Average full-time municipal employee compensation for other regions in California was:


Compensation is defined as total wages plus the employer cost of retirement and health benefits. Full-time employees are defined as those receiving a salary equal or greater to the “annual salary minimum” reported.

To view the entire dataset in a searchable and downloadable format, visit TransparentCalifornia.com.

To schedule an interview with Transparent California, please contact Robert Fellner at 559-462-0122 or Robert@TransparentCalifornia.com.

Transparent California is California’s largest and most comprehensive database of public sector compensation and is a project the Nevada Policy Research Institute, a nonpartisan, free-market think tank. Learn more at TransparentCalifornia.com.

Categories: 2015, Press Releases