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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

100K Club of Yolo County

Two weeks ago, we had our listing of the 100K Club of Davis. In it were the 61 employees of the city of Davis who earned $100,000 or more in 2007. Of those 61, 48 were in public safety and 38 of those were firefighters. Now we have compiled through another public records act request the 100K Club of Yolo County. There were 64 Yolo County employees who earned $100,000 or more in 2007.

The top employee of Yolo County in terms of salary not surprisingly is Sharon Jensen, who is the County Administrator (CAO), a position comparable to a city manager. She is followed by Sheriff Prieto. County Council Robyn Drivon is fourth. District Attorney Jeff Reisig is perhaps somewhat surprisingly only 9th. There are also three members of the Psychiatrist-Board in the top 10.

We have also broken down the elected officials who made the 100K list.

For the sake of comparison, we threw Public Defender Barry Melton on this list even though he is appointed rather than elected. Notably not on the list is the County Superintendent of Schools. Also as people are aware, Yolo County Supervisors make considerably less than $100,000. Also, the Public Guardian does not make the list either.

Breakdown by Department: District Attorney's Office Dominates

There is no department in the county, that is comparable to the firefighters in the city of Davis which had 38 of the top 61 salaries for 2007. However, the District Attorney's office did have 15 of the top 64 salaries, three times that of the next highest departments--County Administrator and Planning and Public Works. Child Support Services, Mental Health, the Public Defender's Office, and the Sheriff's Office all had four employees each in the 100K club of Yolo County.

City of Davis Compared to County and Woodland

One of our Woodland Counterparts, the Woodland Journal just ran their 100K Club of Woodland this past Sunday. They found 18 employees who will make $100,000 or more this year and just 10 employees last year.

To put these numbers into perspective, the city of Davis had 61 employees reach the 100K Club in 2007 out of a total of 422 total employees. That's roughly 14.4% of the employees in Davis. Yolo County by contrast has between 1300 and 1500 total employees of which 64 make 100K or more. That translates at the high end to just under 5% of the employees of Yolo County making 100K or more. We do not have the exact numbers in Woodland, but we imagine the total number of employees is comparable to Davis. That would put them in the range of Yolo County for percentages this year even lower than that last year.

Why is the salary structure in Davis so different from that of Woodland and Yolo County? One really has to look no further than the influence of the public employees unions in local politics and really we are talking about one public employees union--the firefighters. As we noted, 38 of the top 61 salaries in Davis are firefighters.

The Woodland Journal notes:
"Common to both cities is the relative earnings by those who accrue overtime. An examination of the public records provided by the city reveal that 30 Woodland employees made over $10,000 in overtime pay during 07-08. Of those 30, only one employee did not work in the police or fire departments.


86 employees made over $5,000 in overtime. Three of those did not work in the police or fire departments."
This shows that the same phenomena is at work in Woodland, but not nearly as severe as it is in the city of Davis. The County of course does not have a Fire Department. It has a large contingent of workers who provide crucial county services to residents, but most of them are not making the huge salaries with the huge overtimes that the city public safety workers earn.

Tomorrow we will attempt to complete the circle by presenting data on campaign contributions by public safety employees in the city of Davis.

---Doug Paul Davis reporting