SLO County public works director’s hefty starting salary

April 3, 2018

Daniel Colt Esenwein

San Luis Obispo County selected a Santa Cruz County official to be its next public works director, and on Tuesday, the board of supervisor approved a contract which calls for him to receive a total compensation of $272,950 a year. [Cal Coast Times]

After former public works director Wade Horton became SLO County’s chief administrative officer last year, the county had a vacancy to fill. Following a selection process that included panel interviews and candidate presentations, Horton selected Santa Cruz County Assistant Public Works Director Daniel Colt Esenwein to fill the vacant position.

Like Horton, Esenwein is a United States Navy veteran, having served in the Navy from 1990 to 1994. Esenwein also previously worked as the deputy public works director of Stanislaus County.

Eseinwein’s contract with SLO County calls for him to begin at the third step of the salary range for public works director, which gives him a base salary of $15,082 a month, or $180,980 a year. He will receive approximately $91,970 a year in benefits.

By comparison, in 2016, Horton’s last full year as public works director, he received a base salary of $170,113 and $60,727 in benefits. Horton’s total compensation for the year was $237,409, according to the Transparent California database.

Last year, Esenwein received a base salary of $158,323 and $23,070 in benefits while working as Santa Cruz County’s assistant director of public works. His total compensation was $188,194.


Wheres the Vaseline?


Where do they come up with these numbers? 180,980. And 89 cents?

They could have at the very least rounded up to a nice even number like 200k and 100k in bennies. Geesh.


I’ve warned people here before to stay away from hiring Santa Cruz and Santa Monica employees, but no one listens. Next time spend a week in either community and talk to the locals. But maybe this guy will audit the Public Works books and tell us how much of their budget has been stolen from them over the past decades?

George Bailey


Although Mr. Daniel Colt Esenwein may be a fine man and a Navy veteran, this idea that people working in government positions need to make $300,000 a year in salary and benefits is completely wrong, and I say shame on the SLO County Board of Supervisors. How could Debbie, Lynn and John go along with Adam Hill and Bruce Gibson in approving this exorbitant waste of taxpayer dollars?

We must curtail paying government bureaucrats outrageous salaries, and now Mr. Daniel Colt Esenwein will be eligible for a taxpayer-funded pension in excess of over $200,000-a-year for the rest of his life.

Where does this nonsense end?



By the time that all of these unfunded liabilities, high pay and benefit pachages cave in they will have all collected them and moved on out of California. So guess who will get caught paying for it all? We after they tax and fee us to death.

Jorge Estrada



How is the county ever going to get control of its unfunded pension liability when they pay these ever climbing salaries. Shame on the board of supervisors.

The Identarian

They use the old BS line, ‘we have to stay competitive”. LOL


Yeah, why worry about a broken and bankrupt pension system, we can always have the taxpayers pay more and then kick the pension problem down the road.

The Identarian

It’s only taxpayer money, who gives a s—-.


that’s right! let’s get rid of Prop 13…….only kidding