The list many public officials at San Jose City Hall dread every year—annual salaries—posted to the city’s website.
Coming in at the top spot is retired Police Captain Jeff Smith, who received a total cash compensation of $399,130—with $264,000 coming from sick leave and vacation payouts. In fact, the top seven people on the list are all now retired. Each person received a sick leave/vacation payout that was more than $100,000. Gary Kirby ($346,674) and Kennethh Tanaka ($324,430), both of the police department, came in second and third for total cash compensation, respectively.
No one came close to matching last year’s top earner, retired police chief Rob Davis, who walked away with 534,576 in total cash compensation. With more than $300K of that amount coming from sick leave and vacation payout, some members of the City Council have called for ending the lump sum cash reward for sick time, or at the very least a cap.
Harry Mavrogenes, former executive director of the San Jose Redevelopment Agency, was the highest-paid, non-safety public employee in 2011, receiving $257,255 in total cash compensation. More than half of that amount came from sick leave and vacation payout. City Manager Debra Figone was the highest-paid city employee not to retire, bringing in $248,493 in total cash compensation. City Attorney Rich Doyle was 13th on the list, making a little more than $232,000 in 2011.
Police Chief Chris Moore was 19th on the list ($226,129), Fire Chief William McDonald was 26th ($218,460), Airport Director Bill Sherry was 40th ($204,254) and Librarian Director Jane Light, who was not listed as retired, came in 34th with $209,132. Not being listed as retired likely made Light’s sick leave and vacation payout substantially lower.
The top four salaries listed under the search tab for City Council went to people working under Mayor Chuck Reed. Reed was 1,687th on the list of employee salaries for 2011, making $111,487 in total cash compensation, yet his executive officers Jose Salcido ($121,282), Armando Gomez ($116,789), Jeff Janssen ($116,186) and Chief of Staff Pete Furman ($115,2169) each made more money. The mayor’s spokesman, Michelle McGurk, made $104,101 in total compensation. It should be noted that the mayor has taken a voluntary pay cut in recent years due to 10 straight years of budget shortfalls, in addition to the 10 percent cut all other city employees were forced to take.
Pete Constant had a total cash compensation of $90,664 in 2011 to take the top spot among city councilmembers. Don Rocha had the lowest compensation total of anyone on the council at $82,471.
Of the 88 full-time and temporary employees listed under the City Manager’s search tab, 26 made more than $100,000 in total cash compensation last year. The group of 26 includes Mavrogenes and another retired employee, Anne Ortiz.
There was a tie between park ranger Polly Parenti and retired arson investigator James Hirano as the least-compensated employees in the city for 2011. Both of them received $5.