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*
*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
Commissioners: $33,782; part time
County Executive: $173,500
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.