HUNTINGTON BEACH : City to Release Employee Pay, Benefit Figures


Saying the public has the right to know how much the city spends on employee salaries, Councilman David Sullivan has won support from his colleagues to force the release of pay figures.

A critic of employee salaries, Sullivan asked the City Council this week to agree to release a list of employees receiving more than $75,000.

Instead, the council agreed that the compensation packages--salary and benefits--be released for all city employees, but without their names.


“I think it’s the public’s right to know what the employees in the city receive in compensation, because after all, the public pays their salary,” Sullivan said.

“Also, there’s a feeling among many that municipal employees make more money than people doing similar jobs in the private sector. The disclosure of this information will allow the public to determine if that is indeed true.”

Councilman Ralph Bauer supported Sullivan’s request, agreeing that salaries and overtime costs should be reviewed.

Sullivan said he did not oppose excluding the names of employees to protect their privacy.

The names and salaries of the city’s 25 highest paid employees were released recently after the Huntington Beach/Fountain Valley Independent successfully sued the city to make the information public.

City employees said that revealing their salaries violates their privacy.

Councilwoman Shirley S. Dettloff agreed. While the council’s action this week will not include employee names, she voted against it.

“I have not been able to determine what purpose it will serve,” Dettloff said, adding that it is not “the way you treat your employees.”


Dettloff said Huntington Beach employees “are very hard-working. Many departments are understaffed. Why would you want to create a morale problem in a city when we’re asking our employees to do double duty?”