Over half of Inland Empire city workers collected at least $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 44 Inland Empire cities, accounting for 93 percent of the Inland Empire population, reveals that the average full-time city worker received $123,663 in total compensation last year. Over a third received at least $100,000 in pay alone.

The three highest compensated city workers in the Inland Empire were:

  1. Retired Rancho Cucamonga fire Chief Michael Bell cashed in unused leave to boost his total compensation to $446,867.
  2. Corona fire captain Roger Williams collected more than double his salary in OT to receive a total of $438,448.
  3. Fontana City manager Kenneth Hunt earned $423,567.

The top five Inland Empire cities with the highest average compensation package for full-time employees were:

  1. Corona: $153,683
  2. Murrieta: $153,646
  3. Palm Desert: $143,486
  4. Rialto: $138,711
  5. Cathedral City: $138,263

The average 2014 compensation package for full-time employees of Riverside and San Bernardino Counties was $86,942 and $96,186, respectively.

To view a table listing the average wages of all Inland Empire cities, click here.

Taxpayers have been kept in the dark about the full 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 Inland Empire cities surveyed was worth 24 percent of regular pay, as compared to the statewide average of 19 percent.

Rialto’s combined overtime and other pay amounted to 49 percent of salary — the highest of any city statewide. Corona and Ontario were in the top 10 statewide, with overtime and other pay spending at 39 and 38 percent of salary, respectively.

In Corona, the average full-time firefighter received $61,191 in overtime pay, representing a 73 percent increase to their regular salary. Captain Williams more than tripled his $106,000 salary by collecting nearly $233,000 in overtime. 20 percent of Corona firefighters received overtime pay worth more than their regular salary.


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.

For more information or 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

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