City officials to receive big salary bumps

Mayor Gavin Newsom and five other top elected city officials are in store for big raises beginning July 1 — though Newsom plans to give his pay hike away.

The City’s voters backed the salary hikes when they approved Proposition C at the polls in November. The measure authorized The City to set the salaries of the top seven elected officials more in line with the salaries paid out to those in comparable positions in five other Bay Area counties.

The City’s Civil Service Commission approved new base salaries for six of the seven positions earlier this month and submitted them to the Mayor’s Budget Office for inclusion in the fiscal year 2007-08 city budget.

Newsom’s salary will receive the second highest pay increase, jumping from this year’s $188,816 to $245,749, according to the report. Newsom’s spokesman, Nathan Ballard, said the mayor would be donating his salary increase to charity.

Sheriff Michael Hennessey will receive the largest salary increase, an additional $56,968, bringing his salary to $194,473 for the year beginning July 1. Hennessey was paid a salary of $137,505 this fiscal year, well below sheriffs in other counties with similar size departments.

The Alameda County sheriff is earning $201,053, while the Santa Clara County sheriff is earning $215,301, according to a Civil Service Commission report. With the raise, Hennessey will earn more than sheriffs in Marin, San Mateo and Contra Costa counties.</p>

“I’m happy about it,” Hennessey said. “As a city employee, you’d like to be paid in the general ballpark as your contemporaries. This position has always been paid a lot less for some reason.”

Treasurer Jose Cisneros is not expected to receive any salary increase because his $158,014 salary is already the second highest compared with what officials are earning in the five other counties, according to the report. The commission is expected to approve the treasurer’s base salary next week.

District Attorney Kamala Harris’ salary will increase by $35,617, City Attorney Dennis Herrera’s by $29,067, Public Defender Jeff Adachi’s by $27,364 and Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting’s by $9,911, according to the report.

Under the charter amendment, the salaries for these seven elected officials will be re-evaluated every five years to ensure they remain on pace with five other Bay Area counties.

jsabatini@examiner.com

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