Glendale City Hall Salaries

There’s plenty of ways to adjust the Glendale budget without cutting corners. We could each buy ourselves a hockey team if we got a nickel for every time we heard something about cutting budget corners in Glendale to “pay for hockey” from people content with ignoring the real world cost of a municipal sport venue.

Asst.to the Mayor Median Salary $35,424

Asst. To Mayor Salary

So is there any overspending going on over in Glendale?

Before we go much further here, please let me make it clear I don’t begrudge anyone their livelihood or salary. I’m sure all the people we’ll talk about are doing excellent jobs. Consider this, instead, an exercise in budgeting and politics and scapegoats.

Raking It In

The six assistants to the mayor and Councilmembers of Glendale pull in a cool $422,062.00 without consideration of benefits. They average $70,343.67 per annum.

That’s good money and significantly more than the salaries of the people they assist. Sounds backwards, right? Maybe it is.

Assistant to the Mayor

Payscale.com states the median income for an “Assistant to the Mayor” is $35,424. SimplyHired.com is more generous, pegging the average (not median) salary for the position at $50k. Salary.com pegs an “Executive Assistant” median salary at $54,381.00.

If we used the highest median number,  the assistant to Glendale’s mayor at $92,000.00 makes $37,619.00 MORE than the statistically median income for his position.

The assistant to the mayor of Chicago made more ($11k in 2007), but you’d have to admit that job must be significantly more involved than assisting Jerry Weiers. After all, Chicago has well over ten times the population of Glendale, a mass transit system, a hockey team that just might do it this year and, of course, overrated pizza.

Serious Barometer Readings

The Rules Are For Other People

The salary of the mayor is $48,000.00, so Jerry makes just about half the salary of his assistant.

The City Council and mayor of Glendale have traditionally reserved, but not assigned, parking in the garage next to City Hall. This mayor and his assistant, however, have taken it to the next level with “Don’t even THINK about parking here” parking spots in the garage. We all remember how particular Mr. Weiers is about his parking spots, having moved a concrete planter at the capitol so he could park his bike in a no parking area during the election. Luckily, he had Jason Rose to jump into the fray and deflect the claims of entitlement.

By the way, lest you think those hilarious and wholly unnecessary (especially for a city with budget problems) parking signs were purchased off the shelf of some Ace Hardware store on the cheap, you’d be mistaken. Once our records request is satisfied, we’ll discover how much it cost the city to make those signs and install them. Shall we start a pool guessing the total?

City Council Assistants

Glendale City Councilmembers have a $34,000.00 salary. They share three assistants. The payroll for council assistants includes not three (6 councilmembers divided by 2) but five people, four “Council Assistants” and one “Council Services Administrator”.

  • Council Assistant 1 – $64,667
  • Council Assistant 2 – $61,945
  • Council Assistant 3 – $58,286
  • Council Assistant 4 – $50,958
  • Council Services Administrator – $94,206
Privileges Of The Office (from Paul Giblin tweet)

Privileges Of The Office
(from Paul Giblin tweet)

The only person that has had a raise since 2010 is the administrator, who until this March made $89,720. We’ve heard stories of police and fire cuts, and complaints of salary freezes and the like. If one person working for Glendale is eligible for a raise, everybody should get a dip in that pool.

City-Data.com reports median per capita income (as of 2009) in Glendale as $22,359. That sounds really low to me, although there are a significant number of lower income neighborhoods in Glendale. For argument’s sake, let’s bump it up to $30,000 per year.

Should assistants to elected council members for a city of 250,000 people like Glendale warrant salaries nearly DOUBLE that of the per capita income of the city they represent? That’s not for me to decide.

That’s not even accounting for the administrator with a salary approaching $100k. I assume that administrator is supervising four people plus performing additional tasks, since anybody pulling down $60k or so should be fairly capable of supervising themselves.

So What?

People should make what they’re worth, of course. I am just pointing out some salaries at Glendale that seem a little out of line with my sensibilities. I’m not sure of the qualifications for these jobs and I’m sure they all work very hard. So do the people with a median income significantly less than half their average income, though, and they’re the ones paying the salaries.

Over the next several weeks a lot of numbers will be thrown around, plenty of them gigantic and even more of them confusing. I just wanted to point out that it’s possible to trim things, or at least consider less draconian cuts by drilling down into the details. I picked the assistants because I heard about one of those larger salaries through the grapevine.

City budgets are about numbers that are huge to the man on the street. Discussion will revolve around the gigantic buckets with millions of dollars in them, as it almost has to in the time allotted for budgeting. Yet, in those huge budget buckets are the lives of real people, both the ones earning their paychecks working for the city and the ones paying the city from their also hard earned paychecks.

The practice of “cut everything but MY department” is nothing but trouble for any bureaucracy, maybe setting an example would work better?