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Palo Alto releases salary data

Original post made on Mar 1, 2013

The City of Palo Alto's payroll fell by 3 percent in 2012, though the rising costs of employee benefits kept the overall compensation level relatively steady.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, March 1, 2013, 9:59 AM

Comments (15)

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Posted by Joe
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 1, 2013 at 10:11 am

> Fire Inspector John Parks led the way with $288,728 in total
> wages, including $115,400 in salary and $150,125 in overtime pay.

Something is very wrong here--when an employee makes more in overtime than from his base salary.

And then there is the issue of what a Fire Inspector does that justifies this much overtime.

Can City Manager James Keene explain this? Or what about Mayor Greg Scharff? Does he have a clue why the City needs to pay an inspector more in overtime than in base salary?

Just another clear example of a local government that is out-of-control, and in need of an overhaul!


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Posted by Leonard
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 1, 2013 at 12:45 pm

Sad part is the city will be "on the hook" to pay 90% of the employees salary when they retire, plus medical benefits. Insane!


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Posted by Yikes!
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 1, 2013 at 1:08 pm

Way TOO MUCH Over Time!!!!
We lose too much for the routine needs.


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Posted by Jo Ann
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 1, 2013 at 1:20 pm

Why do highly paid city employees even get over-time???


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Posted by steve
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 1, 2013 at 1:27 pm

You people are incredible! The money has to go out somewhere....either in overtime or as a new employee. Lets put your " compensation" package up there as well. Leave our service members alone!


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Posted by Wondering?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 1, 2013 at 3:12 pm

> The money has to go out somewhere

Are you for real? The cost of government during the Obama years has risen to about 50% of the GDP--driven in part by salaries/benefits of government sector workers that are too high, and these insane pensions.

If someone is making $115K in base salary, and $150K in overtime, that means he's working between 70 and 80 hours a week. How does anyone actually function after a couple of weeks--putting in those hours? Of course, maybe he really isn't putting in those hours, just claiming them?


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Posted by Employee of software company
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Mar 1, 2013 at 3:47 pm

> Lets put your " compensation" package up there as well.

WOW... Are you seriously thinking everybody is getting similar compensation? All my friends are getting 90K-145K with no overtime / bonuses/ etc. And with 10-25 years of experience...


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Posted by Dan
a resident of Southgate
on Mar 1, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Assuming our Fire Inspector gets time and a half for overtime, that comes out to 34.7 hours a week of OT every week of the year. Talk about milking it. How much OT does someone have to claim before there's an audit?


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Posted by Midtown Resident
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 3, 2013 at 1:36 pm

With A Master's degree in Math and a Master's degree in Electrical Engineering, and with 25years of experience I make 155k/year at a local high-tech company. And I have to pay my own 401K and work crazy hours. These salaries are WAY WAY too high.


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Posted by Annoyed
a resident of another community
on Mar 3, 2013 at 2:45 pm

So "midtown resident". Just because you have a job that pays less, it's thier fault. Oh....and who cares about your degrees?


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Posted by Outside Observer
a resident of another community
on Mar 3, 2013 at 8:20 pm

Note to you techies that are making peanuts. Stop the H-1 Visas, and your salary and perks will improve. It's simple supply-and-demand.

With H-1 Visa's, they are doing to you what they did to all the trades with illegal aliens.


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Posted by Midtown Resident
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 3, 2013 at 8:38 pm

To Annoyed - [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

We're all getting screwed paying ridiculous salaries that are not commensurate with what is paid in private industry simply because the unions blackmail the city into ridiculous deals. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

To "Outside Observer" - you're right. However since the republican supreme court has made money a fixture in politics, all the legislation is going to be in favour of moneyed interests. We just have to sit back and get shafted.


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Posted by Outside Observer
a resident of another community
on Mar 3, 2013 at 11:23 pm

@ Midtown Resident,

It's not just the "republicans" or the "supreme court". Obama could effectively end H-1 Visa's just as he effectively implemented "The Dream Act". By executive order.

But he didn't.....


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Posted by scooby
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Mar 4, 2013 at 10:48 am

Our teachers, firefighters and police earn every penny and deserve it.


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Posted by Midtown Resident
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 4, 2013 at 4:58 pm

@Scooby. I'm all for paying everyone very well. However there is some point at which it becomes excessive. I'm happy to pay teachers and people who put their lives on the line every day, very well. However even there there are some abuses e.g. overtime, teachers unions that make it nearly impossible to fire them (If thats what you want, teachers, you must accept a lower payscale) that need to be curbed.

As for much of the city staff, much of what they do, does not require advanced degrees or the kind of crazy hours that are required in private industry. The benefits are also better. As a taxpayer, I'm not willing to shell out taxes for more than what is standard in private industry for a comparable job. And that calculation has to take into account total benefits including pension plans, vacation etc. I

f this does not happen I will vote no on every relevant local tax measure that comes my way.


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