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Controller reveals thousands of California salaries

Bell
Following up on the hullaballoo in the city of Bell, where a Los Angeles Times investigation found council members and administrators receiving six-figure salaries for part-time work, State Controller John Chiang has scurried to unveil salaries of state employees. His office unveiled a new website Tuesday where anyone can look up how much, for instance, an animal control officer is paid in Calaveras County.

A quick look through the website reveals that for most people, working for the state of California is no way to get rich quick, although it may be a way to get very good teeth. An animal control officer in Calaveras County, the site reveals, was paid just $39,061 in 2009, but employer contributions to health, dental and vision plans totaled $10,446.

An automotive mechanic for Fleet Services in Fresno County -- a job Gov. Jerry Brown is trying to downsize, as he proposes halving the state vehicle fleet -- was paid $40,222 in 2009. The same automotive mechanic received $8,000 in employer contributions to health, dental and vision plans. The median salary for automotive mechanics in the U.S. is about $34,000.

There are, of course, some well-paid employees. In Los Angeles County, many deputy district attorneys make six figures -- one made $105,898 in 2009, plus $10,527 in medical contributions. Then again, entry-level district attorneys made as little as $32,805 in 2009, with just $2,017 in medical contributions. 

“Posting this information allows California residents to see where their public dollars are being spent and to better hold their local agencies accountable,” Chiang said in a statement Tuesday morning.

Maybe he meant hold them accountable for paying some employees what could be considered barely a minimum wage?

-- Alana Semuels

Photo: Eight current or former Bell city leaders plead not guilty in Division 30 at Los Angeles Superior Court on Thursday, Oct. 21, 2010. Credit: Al Seib/Los Angeles Times

 
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