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City of Paso Robles has highest-paid public employees in county 

Average Paso Robles city employee salary is $88,861

–The average 2014 salary for City of Paso Robles public employees is $59,735, according to Government Compensation In California, a report by the California State Controller. Along with average retirement and health costs of $28,926, the total average compensation for Paso Robles city employees is $88,661, the report says. Paso Robles has a higher average wage than any other city in the county. Employees for the San Luis Obispo Superior Court have the highest wages for government workers in the county, making $69,733 with $28,926 in benefits for a total of $98,659. The city of Grover Beach has the next highest numbers for city employees, with $58,510 in wages and $15,652 in benefits for a total of $74,162.

California public agencies are required to include salary data in their annual financial reports to the State Controller under Government Code section 53891. Public salary and benefits information is available to the public on the Government Compensation In California website. The information is reported to all public agencies at all levels including counties, cities, Superior courts, school districts, community service districts, university systems, college districts and special districts such as fairs.

Click on images to enlarge:

Controllers office SLO County and Cities averages

San Luis Obispo County city and county public employee salaries. Source: Government in California Compensation website.

The average wages in the county are lower than the average California city wage of $61,734. The state average for benefits and retirement is $18,804.  Paso Robles is the only city in the county that exceeds the state average for retirement and benefits. The average wage for California counties is $60,831 and average benefits and retirement compensation is $24,135.

The GCC data is compiled from 478 cities and 56 counties. Retirement and benefits are the total amounts paid by the employer. Benefits include employer paid health insurance. Total compensation is the sum of wages and benefits and retirement.

Top Public Salaries by City

The county, San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles and Atascadero lead in total compensation.

Pismo Beach and Morro Bay lead the county in average employee costs per resident. The cost per resident for Pismo Beach is $1,255 and Morro Bay is $1,070. Paso Robles rates fifth with a cost of $671 and Atascadero seventh with a cost of $459.

Top cost per resident

Cost to residents per employee.

The top executive wages in the county are for the city managers of San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles and Atascadero and the SLO County Administrator.

City Manager Comparisons

Executive wages in SLO County.

Interactive historical data graphs on the GCC website show that public salaries for Paso Robles and Atascadero  have held relatively steady since 2009, as have salaries for the county and for San Luis Obispo.

Average Compensation Graphs SLO County and Cities 2009 to 2014

Local public salaries between 2009 and 2014. Source: Government Compensation in California website

Local wages compared within the state

Within the state Paso Robles’ average wage rates 102 out of 478 cities and 22 in retirement and health compensation. Atascadero rates 278 for average wages and 200 for retirement and benefits compensation. San Luis Obispo rates 243 in average wages and 205 in average retirement and benefits. The City of Vernon in Los Angeles County has the highest average wage of $103,601 Vernon has 267 employees and the average retirement and benefits compensation is $32,462.

Cities rating in the state

Paso Robles, Atascadero and San Luis Obispo average wage comparison with the state.

The county is 15 for average wages out of 56 counties and 4 in the state for average retirement and benefits.

SLO County wage comparison within California

County average wage comparison with other counties in the state.

In terms of total wages and retirement and benefits compensation, the county rates 14 out of the 56 counties. Los Angeles County leads the state with $7,193,105,314 total wages. Los Angeles and San Francisco lead cities in total wages and retirement and benefits compensation. Total wages place San Luis Obispo 83, Paso Robles at 190 and Atascadero at 231 in relationship to the other 478 California cities.

SLO Cities Total Wages rating within state

County cities total wage comparison within the state.

Learn more about public salaries

The SCO created the GCC site in the wake of the 2010 salary scandal in the City of Bell to promote government transparency. Compensation data is available beginning with 2009. The GCC website is available to anyone. The data includes population for cities and counties, number of employees, interactive graphs, individual compensation records and data sets that can be downloaded.

Click here to explore GCC. From the home page, click any county on the interactive California map and follow the link to the details.

The total average compensation for most of San Luis Obispo County is lower than what has been reported in a December press release from Transparent California. Transparent California Research Director Robert Fellner said his averages were only for full-time employees. “Full-time employees are defined as those receiving a salary equal or greater to the ‘annual salary minimum’ reported.” Fellner continued his email response by stating, “Full-time averages also allows for a more equal comparison between cities. Using raw averages would push cities like Paso Robles’ numbers down, not necessarily because they pay less, but because they have a much higher percentage of part-time, partial-year workers than other cities.”


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About the author: Reporter Jackie Iddings

Jackie Iddings is a contributing reporter and photographer for the Paso Robles Daily News.

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