LOS ANGELES – Lancaster’s city manager earned total compensation exceeding a half-million dollars in 2018, putting him among the top three earning city managers in all of California, according to new data from the California State Controller’s Office.
Mark Bozigian, who retired as City Manager of Lancaster in late December, earned total compensation of $537,257, which included $302,646 in regular pay, a lump sum payment of $205,281, and the remainder in retirement and health benefits. [View a breakdown from the State Controller’s website here.]
Redlands’ City Manager N. Enrique Martinez, who was fired following sexual harassment claims, finished at the top of the state’s list of city managers, with total compensation of $845,325. And the second highest earning city manager in the state was Moreno Valley’s city manager Tom DeSantis, who earned total compensation of $588,221 in 2018, according to the data.
Total compensation is what it costs public agencies to employ each worker. It includes the worker’s total wages, as well as what governments pay for their health and retirement benefits.
“My public pay database is a transparency tool to help Californians do their own analyses of government spending,” Controller Betty Yee said in a statement. “The website provides a better understanding of how taxpayer dollars are spent, which can help keep citizens informed and leaders accountable.”
Statewide, 220 city and county workers earned more than a half-million last year, and nearly half of them, 106, were from Southern California’s four-county area.
Los Angeles County dominated with 78 half-million-dollar workers; Los Angeles city had 13; San Bernardino County had three; Riverside County had two; and Orange County had one. The cities of Lancaster, Gardena, Hawthorne, Hermosa Beach, , Moreno Valley, Redlands, Riverside, Santa Ana and Torrance each contributed one half-million-dollar worker.
How do public workers get such big payouts? Meaty severance payouts for getting terminated or retiring, and decades-worth of hoarded vacation time, often are at work.
Overtime is also famous for ballooning worker pay, with firefighters and public safety officers leading the pack.
A Los Angeles city fire captain earned $133,060 in regular pay, and more than twice that — $298,652 — in overtime.