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May 10, 2011
California Dreamin' of Such a Giant Pay

The 20 highest-paid municipal employees in California an average of $490,000 each or nine times the state average in 2009, according to a report on Bloomberg.com.

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And this will ring a Bell—you’ve probably heard on the news about Bell, California, and its over-the-top compensation. According to data provided by California Controller John Chiang, the city manager of Bell, Robert Rizzo, was the top municipal earner at $1.17 million.

The three highest-paid city officials from outside of Bell all were high-ranking police who collected six-figure payouts when they retired in 2009.

In the Bloomberg.com article, Marcia Fritz, president of the California Foundation for Fiscal Responsibility in Sacramento, a nonprofit group pressing for changes in public-employee pensions, says, “It’s outrageous … They are getting compensated like they are top executives of companies that have actual competition.”

Bloomberg.com reports that California’s local government workers received $94.7 billion in wages and salaries in 2009, or an average of $54,197, according to the U.S. Deaprtment of Commerce.

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