Tag Archives: Berkeley city salaries

Berkeley taxpayers pick up the tab to send police officers to out-of-state funerals

The Police Department’s Honor Guard was in attendance, in new uniforms recently purchased by the department. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Berkeley taxpayers picked up much of the bill for two police officers to fly to New York City in January to attend the funeral of an officer who had been killed in the line of duty, according to an investigation by the Oakland Tribune.

Berkeley paid $850.60 for lodging and meals for the trip, plus 40 hours of paid work time, according to the Tribune. JetBlue provided free plane tickets.

Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan justified the expense to the Tribune, saying it boosts morale for police officers from one jurisdiction to show their support for officers in other cities who have been killed.  … Continue reading »

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Berkeley city salaries track neighbors closely

State Controller John Chiang
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California State Controller John Chiang started releasing data on city and state employee salaries and compensation last fall. His office is steadily adding to the database: last week data for transit, water, hospital and other agencies was added to the publicly available information.

Whenever Berkeleyside writes about city government, it’s a certainty that a number of commenters will remark on high salaries and overstaffing. The State Controller’s database provides a chance to compare how Berkeley does against other cities.

At the top of the scale, Berkeley’s ten highest paid employees are roughly comparable to neighboring Oakland and Richmond:

The total wages includes overtime, bonuses and vacation pay (everything reported in Box 5 of the employee’s W-2 form). Berkeley’s police chief’s salary in 2009 was $220,242 — so there were nearly $150,000 of additional payments to Douglas Hambleton, who retired in 2009. Five of Berkeley’s top 10 are police, compared to eight of the 10 in Oakland. San Francisco Chronicle columnist Chip Johnson recently pointed out that police officers and firefighters comprise 440 of Oakland’s highest paid 500 employees. In Berkeley, police and fire make up 299 of the top 500. … Continue reading »

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