default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Logout|My Dashboard

City of Lodi releases top earners

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Tuesday, December 29, 2009 12:00 am

Below are the names and salaries of those in the city of Lodi who are budgeted to make more than $100,000 annually.

The listing is the latest in a series being published in the News-Sentinel on high earners among local public agencies.

Of the 405 employees in the city, 30 employees, or 7.4 percent, earn $100,000 or more. Of those employees, at least five will fall under the $100,000 mark this year because of furloughs and other employee concessions, said city spokesman Jeff Hood.

To deal with declining revenue because of the recession, the city reduced its work force through attrition and offering retirement incentives. The city also renegotiated contracts with employees that resulted in reductions in pay and benefits.

With the budget cuts, Hood said city management has shrunk by 25 percent, and the city's entire staffing levels are what they were more than a decade ago.

Employees earning more than $100,000 have acquired advanced training, have a greater share of responsibility and are often managers, Hood said.

Many of the employees are performing multiple tasks that previously would have been managed by more than one person. Hood said an example is Jim Rodems, who now manages both the community center and the parks and recreation department.

The bulk of the top earners are public safety employees, which Hood said is standard in those industries. He said many other cities pay more for their fire and police personnel.

Fire Division Chief Aimee Murry said the top earners from the fire department are all managers.

She said the fire chief oversees the entire department. As division chief, Murry said she oversees all the deployment of firefighters, hiring, purchasing and all the broad operation tasks. The four battalion chiefs are responsible for running each shift.

With employee concessions, one of the changes that has occurred is that previously firefighter captains and engineers could earn more than the administrative positions because of overtime. During this fiscal year, employees instead must bank overtime instead of cashing it out now.

Contact reporter Maggie Creamer at maggiec@lodinews.com. Read her blog at www.lodinews.com/blogs/citybuzz.

City of Lodi High Earners
Salaries are based on numbers from Aug. 23, and actual salaries have been reduced by employee concessions.
Job Title
City Manager Blair King $160,000
Interim Electric Utility Director* Ken Weisel $159,161
Police Chief David Main $158,036
Deputy City Manager Jordan Ayers $145,000
City Attorney Steve Schwabauer $140,000
Fire Chief Kevin Donnelly $138,903
Public Works Director Wally Sandelin $138,750
Assistant Electric Utility Director Demetrio Bucaneg $136,365
Police Captain Gary Benincasa $133,469
Police Captain J.P. Badel $127,113
Police Lieutenant Chris Piombo $111,224
Police Lieutenant Steve Carillo $111,224
Police Lieutenant Steven Price $111,224
Water Service Manager Charles Swimley $109,102
Financial Services Manager Ruby Paiste $108,819
Fire Battalion Chief Ron Heberle $107,784
Fire Battalion Chief George Juelch $107,784
Fire Battalion Chief Ron Penix $107,784
Fire Battalion Chief Jeff Larson $107,784
Deputy City Attorney Janice Magdich $106,933
Parks and Recreation Director Jim Rodems $106,465
Fire Division Chief Aimee Murry $106,409
Human Resources Manager David Gualco $103,638
Construction &?Maintenance Supervisor Barry Fisher $103,226
Distribution Planning Supervisor Edward Fitzpatrick $103,226
Utility Operations Supervisor Abel Palacio Sr. $102,470
City Clerk** Randi Johl $101,384
Utility Service Operator II** Patricia Novinger $101,192
Community Improvement Manager** Joseph Wood $100,458
Building Official** Dennis Canright $100,430
* Ken Weisel started as an interim director in August. He was previously assistant electric utility director at a salary of $136,365.
** These salaries fall under $100,000 with employee concessions.

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don't pretend you're someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don't insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.

Welcome to the discussion.


  • posted at 11:05 am on Wed, Dec 30, 2009.


    The Modesto Bee did the very same, indicating wages with overtime, incentives, special duty pay, etc... for City of Modesto employees.

  • posted at 9:45 am on Wed, Dec 30, 2009.


    you know all this info about top wage earners is right in front of us on the city's website all year long. but we only take note of it it seems once a year when its published? check out the human resources/job specs/salaries page on the city website. its all right there for the public to see anytime they want.from the looks of the top end salaries of all the different jobs (not only those shown in the paper) i bet there are lots more staff making over 100,000 a year if you add up all their overtime and stuff (like justthefacts was saying).why isnt that information published? not necessarily names and personal info but the wages themselvs.

  • posted at 8:15 am on Wed, Dec 30, 2009.


    lodidian it would be intersting if you could substantiate the claim that a deputy is another way to jack up the $$$ range. do you have anything to back that up. i agree w/ you that the pensions are a real problem but i thikn that the salaries are realistic

  • posted at 7:38 am on Wed, Dec 30, 2009.


    It appears that the salaries listed, especially within Police and Fire, are base salaries and do not include overtime and incentive pay that are a staple in Public Safety. It would be interesting to see how this list would look with that factored in. I think that you'd see, as in most agencies, that the Fire Captains and Police Lieutenents would dominate the top end of the list. It's public safety retirement packages that are breaking the bank throughout this state.

  • posted at 7:28 am on Wed, Dec 30, 2009.


    Of course... it differs as you go outside the Administration level of government, where at the department level, there is a Director and in some cases a Deputy Director that oversees Division Managers. I'm not sure whether a Deputy Director position exists within the City of Lodi. The last may have been Wally Sandelin before he became Public Works Director.

  • posted at 7:22 am on Wed, Dec 30, 2009.


    Lodidian wrote: "I'm ok with titles such as assistant city attorney or assistant city manager. It seems to me the title "deputy" infers more responsibility and is used here to justify more pay than an assistant would get."In actuality within the realm of government administration, the "Assistant" title is higher than that of the "Deputy". In other agencies, several deputy positions will serve under the City Manager/Attorney and their Assistant. In larger agencies you'll find Senior or Supervising Deputy positions.

  • posted at 5:41 am on Wed, Dec 30, 2009.


    RealityI'm ok with titles such as assistant city attorney or assistant city manager. It seems to me the title "deputy" infers more responsibility and is used here to justify more pay than an assistant would get. This is an old game that top managers play---they increase the package of their minions in order to justify their own "sweeter" package.These are all good people I'm sure, but it seems to me these pay and benefits packages have reached a point that is not sustainable.

  • posted at 2:41 am on Wed, Dec 30, 2009.


    This "in line" with other cities is a game government administrators have being playing for years. It's the "tide raises all boats" theory. Bottom line is still the same: Government produces no income. It can only steal or borrow it from those who do. The feds have one other advantage - they can print it. In the end, the results are the same: the house of cards fall. It's already happening in CA. This is what the deficits are all about.

  • posted at 4:59 pm on Tue, Dec 29, 2009.


    lodidian you know dam well these salaries are in line (and probably light) compared to other cities. and concerning the need for deputies (ie deputy city manager) doesnt the captain of an aircraft carrier or other navy ship have an executive office to assit him in managing all the day to day details

  • posted at 3:12 pm on Tue, Dec 29, 2009.


    Remember folks, these people have given up the "opportunity" to work in the private sector where they could become "WEALTHY".Seriously, these salaries are probably competitive with other city's salaries. I question the need for "deputy" positions--- deputy city attorney---why a deputy city manager.

  • posted at 2:28 pm on Tue, Dec 29, 2009.


    I thought paying people according to their needs and not their ability was the essence of Karl Marx's communist manifesto.

  • posted at 1:38 pm on Tue, Dec 29, 2009.


    Soooo...... lionheart209 What I get from you story is that it is so hard "make well over 100 thousand a year" and going home to you family every night after your shift and spending days off with them. What about the men and women in are armed forces that spend months/years away from there families for a small fraction of you much larger "tasking" salary!

  • posted at 1:12 pm on Tue, Dec 29, 2009.


    I am not surprised by these wages. At a time when people are losing their jobs and are seening their property values drop, the Lodi city council and its local goverment are out of touch with the tax payers of Lodi. All I hear from the Lodi City Council is that there is no money and we need to continue to make cuts in the city budget. I say start with all the fat cats on this list. No one needs $10,000 a month to live. None of them are worth what they are being paid. If any of them don't think they are over paid, I say fire them! I don't think we would have a problem with finding qualified people to take their place for half the wages.

  • posted at 11:19 am on Tue, Dec 29, 2009.


    I wonder how many people would be on this list of 100K earners if overtime and incentive pay were taken into consideration? Don't get me wrong, this chart is extremely informative. However, it only takes into account the employees "who are budgeted to make more than $100,000 annually".Things that make you go hmmmmmm...

  • posted at 9:06 am on Tue, Dec 29, 2009.


    Lionnheart209 you can't be serious that $100,000 is not enough and you have the same financial problems.Do you really think that making a mercedes payment is on the same level as someone trying to keep their 10 yaer old car running.Or paying rent in a one bedroom to paying a mortgage on a 3,000 suare foot home.You really are out of touch.Please you have the same problems,give me a break.

  • posted at 8:45 am on Tue, Dec 29, 2009.


    Cogito, your so right on and is one of many reasons retirement of the highest payed retires is killing the city. Restructure their retirement and when it comes to trimming the fat, start at the top. Nobody needs over 10 grand a month to scrape by.

  • posted at 7:17 am on Tue, Dec 29, 2009.


    If you do the calculations the highest paid is $3077. per week and the lowest paid is $1931. per week. 40 hours per week means $48 to $77 per hour plus benifits on top. They have no risk exposure as people in business do. I'm sorry, but they are not worth this kind of money for what they do.

  • posted at 7:12 am on Tue, Dec 29, 2009.


    I might be a little biased here, I'm no fan of the LFD Union and their political actions, but... that's a A LOT of Chiefs on that list.Someone mentioned out City Attorney. I know Schwabauer a bit and he is a sharp kid. From the City website: "He received his Bachelor of Arts in History from U.C. Davis in 1990, and his Juris Doctorate from U.C. Berkeley (Bolt Law) in 1994. He was admitted to the California State Bar in 1994."IMHO in comparison to the LUSD salaries last week SOME of these highly educated & experienced managers are a bargain.One question I have is where does Rad Bartlam fall in this survey? He's "interm" and I believe a independent contractor via his consulting firm, but I'd bet he's making 6-figures from the City.

  • posted at 6:16 am on Tue, Dec 29, 2009.


    Regardless of personality conflicts, our peace and emergency personal put their lives on the line everytime they get into or on their vehicles to respond to calls. As far as I'm concerned they are underpaid. I strongly resent and object to any layoffs or pay cuts any of them have received or will receive in the future.

  • posted at 5:53 am on Tue, Dec 29, 2009.


    so should we feel sorry for the governement worker that makes 100k+ but lives like they make 200k+ and then they are put on furlough days so they lose 15 to 20% over the year. A lot of people (private and public) are learning the hard way right now because we all got spoiled with the good times and extened our credit lines.

  • posted at 5:50 am on Tue, Dec 29, 2009.


    The only good thing I can about this is at least they are not making as much as some of our school district employees.

  • posted at 5:40 am on Tue, Dec 29, 2009.


    I'm a peace officer for the state and make well over 100 thousand a year. And let me tell you, it's actually not that much. The more you make, the more you spend, and end up having financial woes like those who earn less. People who earn 100K a year or more, chose their career's. And those who earn less, can choose a similar career if they choose to. State peace officer in Lodi~

  • posted at 5:04 am on Tue, Dec 29, 2009.


    Jenn H..Gimme a break. These people CHOSE their profession. I know several of the high paid city people and they openly brag about what a great deal they are getting at taxpayer expense. Like most public officials, they view themselves above the lowly citizens.The City spends WAY too much on administration and not enough on taxpayer supported services. Ask them where the money for "future inifrastructure" is they collect on your City bill..Good luck getting an answer.Which one of these people are you related toA?

  • posted at 4:58 am on Tue, Dec 29, 2009.


    I see the greeneyed monster is alive and well. Jealousy, as with any negative emotion only hurts the person suffering from it.

  • posted at 4:44 am on Tue, Dec 29, 2009.


    a law degree is not equivalent to a doctorial degree, please. you can get a law degree at humphreys in stockton. Second a doctor working in a private practice is much different than an attorney working for the city. You are comparing apples and oranges.

  • posted at 3:37 am on Tue, Dec 29, 2009.


    To LodiJoe: Those salaries are not "over the top" when you consider the education and experience those folks need in order to perform their assignments competently. Do you seriously think the city attorney who has the equivalent of a doctorate degree, supervises a staff, and has a great deal of visibility & responsibility should make less? How much does your DOCTOR make every time you visit him/her for a sore throat? 3x as much, at least.

  • posted at 2:58 am on Tue, Dec 29, 2009.


    Trust me, on the police and firemen listed, there are well over a million dollars in retirements per year, starting in their 50s.

  • posted at 2:13 am on Tue, Dec 29, 2009.


    i get sick and tired of governement employees crying about furlough days. i am in the private sector and i have about a 20% or so paycut. but at least i still have a job. all i ever hear in the news is government employees and their furloughs. Well i am glad they get their furloughs. since they dont have to worry about profits and or being efficient they can just blood away the tax payer's money.

  • posted at 1:49 am on Tue, Dec 29, 2009.


    Too bad they did not think. They could have worked for the School District and made double!

  • posted at 1:26 am on Tue, Dec 29, 2009.


    I wonder who on this list is represented by a Union? Not only are these salaries "over the top" but what kind of retirement are these people entitled to receive? Now you know why our city as well as other cities are on the verge of fiinancial ruin. This happens on the city, county, state and federal levels as well. Oh well, the City will just have to increase fees, rates and taxes to support these fat cats.

  • posted at 12:43 am on Tue, Dec 29, 2009.


    there is your tax dollars hard at work lodians.



Popular Stories


Should graduations return to the Grape Bowl?

Lodi Unified leaders are moving Lodi and Tokay high school graduations from the Grape Bowl to the Spanos Center at UOP in Stockton. They cite limited seating, costs and unpredictable weather at the Grape Bowl. But others say graduations at the Grape Bowl are an important Lodi tradition, and one reason many supported renovating the stadium. What do you think?

Total Votes: 100


Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists