California's Top Paid City Managers

Sometimes it really pays to be a city manager.

That’s one takeaway from the State Controller’s recently updated compensation website. Across the state, the data shows numerous city managers were raking in more than $300,000 per year in 2015. By contrast, the state’s governor—you know, the one in charge of a state with nearly 40 million people—earns under $174,000 annually.

As we've seen before, there’s actually very little correlation between compensation and city size when it comes to the highest paid city managers. Of the top 10, half of them work for cities with populations under 100,000.

It should be noted that these reports from the Controller's office are based on "one size fits all" reports that often don't tell the complete story. In the case of Hemet (ranked #2 on the list), where the salary, accrued leave, and severance paid to the previous (now terminated) manager are included in the figure.

California’s Top 10 Paid City Managers

*Wage information does not include retirement and health benefits*

1. Escondido -- wages: $413,452

2. Hemet -- wages: $377,376

3. Fontana -- wages: $370,908

4. Calexico -- wages: $349,482

5. Santa Ana -- wages: $341,799

6. West Covina -- wages: $340,208

7. Burbank -- wages: $338,493

8. Lakewood -- wages: $334,275

9. Palm Springs -- wages: $333,708

10. Citrus Heights -- wages: $333,504

See the full list of city manager pay here.

Image Credit: Flickr User 68751915@N05, via (CC BY-SA 2.0)