Concerned over budget shortfalls Oakland officials are looking at major cost-saving measures in response to the city’s current pandemic-fueled financial crisis. But often not mentioned in this discussion are the salaries of the city’s most highly paid staff, which gives an indication of how much it costs to run the city.
The website Transparent California (transparentcalifornia.com) readily makes available salary information that can be obtained in the public records for City of Oakland employees. Note that the latest reported salaries are for 2019-2020.
Many of the top salaries in the city were earned by police and fire department officers, swelled by significant overtime pay. But first, here are some top, non-sworn administrative salaries. Typical benefits include vacation, healthcare, pension, and insurance.
Mayor Libby Schaaf earned a salary of $203,000 and a total of $320,179 in salary and benefits.
The city administrator, who in 2019 was Sabrina Landreth, earned $316,652 in salary and a total of $478,609 including pay and benefits. The newly hired city administrator is Edward Reiskin, whose salary is $325,178.
Director of Public Works Jason Mitchell earned $241,737 in annual salary, $371, 373 including pay and benefits.
Assistant City Attorney Maria Susan Bee earned $227,623 a year, $351,317 total with benefits.
City Attorney Barbara Parker earned $229,255 annually, $344,127 with pay and benefits.
Controller Kirsten Anne Lacasse earned $206,468 a year, $339,145 total pay and benefits.
Director of Human Resources Management Ian Donald Appleyard earned $216,220 with a total of $355,199 salary and benefits.
Director of Animal Services Rebecca Katz earned $216,220 a year, a total of $335,040 salary and benefits.
Director of Transportation Ryan Russo earned $216,220. Total with benefits was $322,488.
Assistant Director of Public Works Wladimir Wlassowsky earned $196,628 a year, $322,814 total salary and benefits.
Revenue and Tax Administrator Margaret Louise O’Brien earned $203,377 a year, $324,769 total wages and benefits.
While Oakland’s high police salaries have been reported frequently in the media, it is instructive to look at how much these salaries are inflated by overtime income. Transparent California lists the regular salary and overtime pay separately. The discrepancy in the income may be ‘other’ pay as well as typical benefits.
The top-earning city employee in 2019 was police officer Malcolm Miller, who earned a total of $640,746 in pay and benefits. His regular pay was $126,532 for the year, while his overtime pay was $257,326, which was 40% of his total income.
The next highest earning employee in Oakland was police officer Timothy Dolan, whose regular pay was $128,301. His total wages and benefits were $601,135. His overtime was $322,071, which was 54% of his total annual income.
The third highest-paid employee was a police officer was Marcell Patterson whose regular pay was $123,530. His total wages and benefits were $500,904. His overtime pay was $203,728, which represented 41% of his total annual income.
Police Lieutenant Frederick Shavies earned regular pay of $165,528 and a total of $491,025 in wages and benefits for the year. His overtime pay of $151,705, which represents 31% of his total annual income.