Photo by John Schreiber.
Photo by John Schreiber.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti was the second- highest-paid mayor in California in 2015, while Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia ranked fourth, according to government salary data released by the state Controller’s Office Wednesday.

According to the state figures, Garcetti was paid $237,453 and received more than $11,000 in health and retirement benefits. Garcia earned $155,756, with around $37,000 in benefits. The state’s top-paid mayor was Ed Lee of San Francisco at $288,964.

According to the Controller’s Office, average wages in city governments increased by more than 3 percent from 2014 to 2015, from $61,724 to $64,058. For counties, pay rose by almost 5 percent, from $60,831 to $63,823.

The Controller’s Office data encompasses 668,240 positions that generated a total of more than $42 billion in wages in 2015, in 54 counties and 459 cities that submitted their salary information.

Of the more than 450 California cities that reported last year’s salaries, the city of Vernon — with 210 residents and 271 city employees — had the highest average employee salary, at $107,848. Los Angeles ranked 11th, with an average salary of $83,356 and Beverly Hills came in 19th, with an average of $79,179.

Four cities in Riverside County’s Coachella Valley ranked among the top 10 municipalities in the state in terms of average wages — Palm Desert, Cathedral City, Indian Wells and Palm Springs.

Among California’s 58 counties, Los Angeles ranked third, with an average salary of $73,722. Orange County ranked ninth at $66,135.

The county with the highest average salary was Santa Clara, home of pricey Silicon Valley, at $81,808

Pay data for state government, the California State University, superior courts, and special districts for 2015 will be released later this summer.

–City News Service 

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