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Richard Rider

City of San Diego fails to report most employee benefit costs — “too much trouble”?

“GIGO.”  Garbage in, garbage out.

The city of San Diego lifeguards are probably the highest compensated in the state — but America’s Finest City has a policy of not reporting the full cost of benefits.  Or even MOST of the costs.  “Too much trouble,” apparently.

Looking at the highest CA lifeguard compensation figures in the article below, it appears to me that the only benefit cost my city includes is health insurance — nothing for pensions, 401k plan, disability insurance, life insurance, retiree health care, etc., etc.  And let’s not overlook the unfunded liability cost (seldom reported) for employee pensions, retiree health care, disability, etc.

Look at the life guard “benefits” cost listed for the six top CA lifeguards:
1.  Huntington Beach — $61,155
2.  LA County — $37,917
3.  San Diego — *** $9,845 ***
4.  Huntington Beach — $59,800
5.  LA County — $35,137
6.  LA County — $41,310

While each CA jurisdiction is required to submit this employee compensation data annually, the devil is in the details.  Cities and counties pretty much report however they please.  While the city of San Diego is not the only miscreant in its systematic policy of omission, it seems to be one of the worst.  Indeed, arguably Huntington Beach is the highest in this lifeguard survey because it’s likely that city is the most honest jurisdiction in reporting total benefit costs.

The lesson is that — as high as the reported figures are for CA public employee compensation, these are FLOOR costs.  A full accounting would too often show that the TOTAL pay and benefits are higher.  Sometimes MUCH higher.

California’s 28 top-paid lifeguards

San Diego is well-represented in upper ranks

. . .