California city managers paid more than Brown

June 13, 2011

Katie Lichtig

Katie Lichtig gets $308,408 in total compensation as the manager of San Luis Obispo, a city with about 700 employees and 41,000 residents. That’s almost twice the salary of the governor, responsible for 44,000 employees and 37 million people. [Bloomberg]

Lichtig is not alone. Almost four in 10 city managers in California were paid more than the state’s chief executive’s 2009 salary of $173,987, according to payroll data. The median salary for California’s city managers in 2009 was $187,728, according to data from the state controller’s office, Bloomberg said.

“It’s outrageous,” said Deanna Reeder, 49, who lives in Moreno Valley, which had an average personal income of $18,728 in 2009 and an April unemployment rate of 15.6 percent. “California is hurting. Every city is hurting and instead of dealing with it, they overpay some people, and the person they are overpaying doesn’t solve the problems.”

“If you pay someone $400,000 and they fixed the problems of your city, maybe you could appreciate that,” Reeder said in an interview with Bloomberg. “But the problems in our cities aren’t going away.”

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For the past couple of decades the state and local workers around the state and probably the country have focused their attention on one thing, improving their own lot in life. They have slowly gotten to the point that their contracts with the county and state, run by other civil servants with the same agenda, have created an extremely lucrative welfare state for themselves. If one of them has to go on administrative leave….its with pay,,,,,oh so sorry thats in the contract…..they work for 20 or 30 years at a job, retire with full benefits and 90 percent of their salary paid by the taxpayers… sorry its in the contract. When we run out of money then services are cut to the taxpayers, so sorry its in the contract, or the other big cheese civil servants decide to cut out 70 million from the state parks budget as a penalty to the taxpayers who refuse to continue to fund the welfare state.

This lady, and the other city managers are just another example of how successful this new welfare state has become. The civil servants, and i don’t mean just a few of them, watch out for themselves and their brothers and sisters ( this firefighter is a prime example) and have forgotten that they are to provide some benefit to the community and the taxpayers who are funding this gravytrain.

The most amazing thing about her salary was that our elected officials all went along with it… in spite of the the shock and awe it generated. I wonder if Jan Marx was even listening?

It is coming folks. One day there will be another revolution in this country with us (being the working folk) against them(the government and their employees). They are taking advantage of us in so many ways. Sorry, but Ms. Lichtig is one greedy pos in my book. May she rot in hell for fleecing us.

The problem with the revolt is that by that time there will be more government workers than private workers and they control us, like it or not. Add to that the illegal immigrants that support this government and the military and we are doomed!

This lady’s salary is WAY of out line. I would hesitate to approve $100,000, let alone $300.000. Is this really necessary? Is her job really THAT critical? Come on! These are TUX BUCKS SLO is paying her. She makes more than the governor! What can SLO be thinking? This is crazy!

I would have no problem what-so-ever paying Katie $600,000 if she could actually improve our economy, balance our budgets, keep roads in good repair, etc. etc.

As it stands, she can’t do SQUAT in her job AND we’re paying her for that! I don’t ever begrudge anyone from earning a salary, but the key phrase is “EARNING A SALARY” – to which, Katie Lichtig does not seem to be doing.

Katie Lichtig is to SLO what Wade McKinney is to Atascadero. Given high salary, excess time off (Wade to conduct his private business operations and Katie to visit her husband in Mailbu), cell phone, gym membership, cars, 401’s, retirement, and high salary could at a minimum make honest and undisclosed decisions, work for betterment of the public (not themselves) and not be so high and mighty jerks. Let’s see, who are the winners and who are the losers???

According to SLO city’s own website:

Population: 44,750 (2009)

Median Family Income: $42,526


So the proper response would be: why is our City Manager getting paid 725% over the average tax-payer who is funding her salary?

Maybe they have a good answer. I doubt it, but I am listening.

I believe the Governor gets a lot of perks on top of his salary, like a full staff, spokes people, limos, planes, a chef and on and on and on…

Normally I don’t begrudge people the money they make, but when that salary is coming from taxpayers (out of MY pocket), I have a right to complain. So here it goes:

“Katie Lichtig makes too much money in comparison to the job she is doing. And so does Jerry Brown, Sam Blakeslee, Katcho, the 5 Supervisors, Lois Capps, Kevin McCarthy, Fienstein and Boxer, Obama, all of the people in Congress, the U.S. Senate, the State Legislatures and on and on. So long as they are not balancing budgets, protecting our freedoms and rights, and ensuring public health and safety, they are failures at their jobs. Period.

And it doesn’t matter if you paid them $1 million a year or minimum wage, if a person isn’t doing his or her job they aren’t worth one penny.”

Homerun paperboy,

they all were hired or elected to do a job, if they can’t or won’t it really doesn’t matter how much they make, they need to be fired.

Every single politician regardless of party spends a good percentage of thie time saying “yes” to everyone, yet actually never have any intention of fullfilling the original request. And all public employess have mny additional perks on top of their working wage, many in fact live a life style very comparable to royalty, maintained on the backs of the tax payers, just like royalty…


This is the best bullseye truth I heard in years.

Thank you


Please fact check the 1st paragraph. I don’t think SLO City has 267K residents.

(Pls delete this comment when appropriate).

That’s probably a COUNTY stat, not a CITY stat.

The whole article is poorly written,[ “average personal income of $18,728 in 2009”] How does one average an annual income for just one year?

Obviously a public school grad :)

Its the average income of all the residents as reported for 2009. A public school education is better than no education. What were you thinking it was. The average of what ? .

Fixed how. It still says 267K or is that the right answer. Could be if you count what the radical fringe think is the number of undocumented workers in town.

The population for the City of SLO is about 43000

Don’t paint the target on Lichtig! If I could get that contract and make that money, I’d do it too! The fault lies with the people approving the deals with these ‘city managers’.

If Brown can’t negotiate a deal with the state legislature for more cash, then maybe he has a problem. But linking the two together doesn’t make any logical sense. Lichtig works for the City of San Luis Obispo, Brown works for the people of the State of California. Two different jobs, and I expect that Brown has a lot more help to do his job than Lichtig does to do hers. Lichtig is collecting about $1.15 from each resident per year for her package, if the numbers are correct in the article. Lichtig can also be fired for doing a bad job; Brown would have to be recalled or defeated in a re-election bid.

No, I’m not defending the ridiculous compensation packages placed on the backs of taxpayers. I am pointing out that the link between the two is an ‘apples vs. oranges’ type of comparison.

I have to agree here, while her salary is disgusting, especially when taken in consideration of her lack of performance and penchant to sub-out as much “work” as possible, it makes me mad.

But I am not so mad that I can blame her (or any public servant) for taking the job that fleeces the hurting tax-payers. It is the people who agreed to give her that, the elitist, bureaucratic oligarchy that runs the show who need serious review and termination.

If I am offering $300,000.00 a year to do minimal work with no liability, I cannot be upset at the person taking that job. I would like to know what experiences (other than government work) are desired. Ever run a business? Need to meet a payroll? Compete with others? Do or die? No? You’re hired!

Enough with the lateral transferring of other municipalities’ messes. Sharpen the ax, and USE IT.

I wonder how you did your math. 41k into 308k is not 1.15, it is more like 7.4 or so (just done in my head). And that is per every humanoid, not taxpayer. And it doesn’t make any sense anyway, it is the gross amount (which is very gross) that counts.

But I do agree with you, the council ought to be leaned on about all this. I wonder if, when the first article came out months ago, if anyone did anything other than whine here. They are very reachable via actual visit, email, phone etc.

I heard one council person defend the decision a while back on the radio by saying Katie had already more than paid for herself in performance. What a lame bit of bs that was. Our manager is hired to do a good job, do we have to bribe people with fantastic financial packages to get a good job, in these trying times?

So, all you armchair cow boys and girls, get off the couch and tell the council what you think, and don’t accept their doublespeak to put you down. YOU own this town, act like it. Tell your employees what to do.

You’re right, hotdog. If anyone wants to make a phone call or send an e-mail, SLO City Council contact information is readily available.

Aminal Farm is alive and well in California