Ranking Local Government Leaders' Salaries

Pay for Pols


On the heels of a year when news headlines focused on the inner workings of city and county governments (think of the Turkia Mullin severance-package scandal in Wayne County), now seems as good a time as any to examine who makes what in the ranks of local-government leadership and how their paychecks stack up from city to city and state to state.

Salary statistics are only one indicator of overall income, though. Mayoral residences and city-owned cars provided to council members — uncommon perks that apply to Detroit — also come at a cost to taxpayers. And despite relatively low salaries, Detroit City Council’s budget makes up 1 percent of the city’s general-fund spending, the largest among the 15 cities the Philadelphia Research Initiative studied in 2010.

Mayoral Salaries in Major U.S. Cities:

Los Angeles: $232,425

New York: $225,000*

Chicago: $216,210

Boston: $169,750

Detroit: $158,558

Baltimore: $155,493

Cincinnati: $131,399

Pittsburgh: $103,425

*New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a multi-billionaire draws a symbolic $1 annual compensation.


City Council Members’ Salaries in Major U.S. Cities:

Los Angeles: $178,789; full time

Washington, D.C.: $130,538; part time

New York: $121,725; part time

Philadelphia: $121,107; full time

Chicago: $109,261; part time

San Jose: $89,710; full time

Boston: $87,500; full time

San Diego: $75,096; full time

Detroit: $73,595; full time

Baltimore: $63,178; full time

Phoenix: $61,610; part time

Pittsburgh: $57,815; part time

Houston: $55,770; full time

Dallas: $37,500; part time

San Antonio: $1,400; part time


Local County Commissioner & Executive Salaries: Macomb County

Commissioners: $30,746; part time

Board of Commissioners Chairperson: $66,595; full time

County Executive: $139,773; full time


Oakland County

Commissioners: $33,782; part time

County Executive: $173,500


Wayne County

Commissioners: $61,808; part time

County Executive: $154,521

Sources: League of Women Voters, Pew Charitable Trust: Philadelphia Research Initiative 2010, and public records. Council data from 2010. All other data reflect 2011 rates.

If you enjoy the monthly content in Hour Detroit, "Like" us on Facebook and/or follow us on Twitter for more frequent updates.


Edit Module
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

Keeping It Real

Community theater group production aims to spark conversations about police actions and race

Celebración en Suroeste

Southwest Detroit celebrates the traditions of Day of the Dead, honors those who have passed

Here Comes the Neighborhood

Detroit nonprofit Life Remodeled continues to revamp local schools, homes, and communities on a grand scale

Striking A Chord

Detroit area nonprofits play a unique tune when it comes to music education, performance, and youth engagement

Melting Pot

Entrepreneurs, innovators, and residents share their recipes for city improvement at microfunding forum Detroit Soup
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Will Drive for Wine
    Grand Rapids festival is a wine lover’s utopia
  2. James Beard Celebrity Chef Dinner Showcases Michigan Talent
    Townsend's Drew Sayes and Damien Yopek as well as Myles Anton from Traverse City represent local...
  3. Savor Detroit Fall 2015
    Hour Detroit's Savor Detroit, a five-night dinner series featuring custom menus developed by the...