Positive reforms, Transparent California Edition

Transparent California was back in the news again this month, as a pair of agencies adopted reforms in response to our previous reporting.

In Riverside, the City Council received the results of an audit that was commissioned in response to our story that a utilities dispatcher made nearly $400,000, after receiving the state’s 10th largest overtime payout.

The Press-Enterprise reported on the progress the city took after our report was published:

changes began in 2017, after the website Transparent California reported that dispatcher Donald Dahle received the 10th largest overtime payout in California in 2016 — double his six-figure base salary.

“Since the time period covered by the audit, we noted the City and RPU have hired additional staff, and made significant improvements to strengthen internal controls, such as new policies and procedures, and implemented overtime monitoring procedures,”

In BART reining in janitor overtime after public fallout, the San Francisco Chronicle reported on how much things have changed since our story of a BART janitor’s $271,000 pay package went global:

“There’s been a lot of attention paid to getting salaries in alignment,” said Robert Raburn, president of the BART Board of Directors. “We’re righting the ship and making sure we have reasonable workforce policies in place.”


And in Marin, we got back to basics as we provided residents with complete information regarding the local pension fund, with the Marin IJ covering the release of the new, 2017 pension data in a remarkably thorough piece.

And for a project explicitly focused on California, it is always neat to see the wide reach of the site. In The Pleasure and Pain of Being California, the World’s 5th-Largest Economy, the New York Times gave us a nice shout-out:

Facebook revealed last month that the median pay of its employees was $240,430 a year. But the fire chief in San Ramon has been doing pretty well, too, with total pay and benefits of $516,344 in 2016, according to the website Transparent California. And nearly 200 police officers across the state make more than $300,000 a year, when overtime and benefits are included.

To all who donate to help keep the site going, thank you for making this possible. Have a great weekend everyone!