Reporting from Sacramento — Although eclipsed by the pay in Bell, other cities throughout California are heaping big money on their top managers, including six-figure loans to buy houses and benefits that more than double base pay, according to a study released by state lawmakers Wednesday.
The report also found that more than two months after the Bell scandal, many cities are still not doing enough to make it easy for the public to find out what top officials are paid.
Issued by the staff of the state Assembly Committee on Accountability and Administrative Review, the report said most cities reported posting salaries on their websites, but "city websites were often difficult to navigate and … many cities posted incomplete information."
A survey of benefits by the panel found that Palo Alto's contract with its city manager offers him up to $1.5 million to buy a house that would be co-owned by the city, plus a $500,000 home loan. The Sunnyvale city manager's contract allows a $900,000 home loan at below 1% interest, and Huntington Beach's city manager contract allows a $200,000 home loan.