Most people don’t like to make or incur a mistake. It often leads to that over-used term of “misinformation.”
To avoid the disgrace of wrong or misleading information, I would choose to be more specific. While this is an opinion column, it also permits you the reader to form your own opinion, providing the information you read here is accurate and correct.
This week, I will attempt to dive a bit deeper into the actual numbers and facts that prompted me to form my opinion about Santa Clara salaries. The motive behind these financial awards, or lack thereof, may be justified in the minds of some, just not in mine.
To clarify my comments last week about former Police Chief Mike Sellers not receiving a salary increase, he did not receive one. At the time, this decision was that of the then sitting City Council. The old Council abdicated their responsibility to address Sellers’ compensation. After six months of delay the old Council passed it on to the Salary Review Commission and it wound up in the “Perpetual review file.” They just never acted on Seller’s compensation.
I also mentioned the omission of an increase for Rajeev Batra who was promoted from Public Works to become acting City Manager. If he would have been paid as promised by Mayor Gillmor, his annual retirement would be $13,000 a year more. However, it was conveniently overlooked. This was in spite of the City receiving approval from the IRS indicating there would be no conflict with his other pension benefits. It was just conveniently swept over to the Salary Review Commission.
Next was my observation of Santa Clara City Manager Deanna Santana’s compensation. Last week, I referred to her compensation as pushing $800,000 and some couldn’t accept that. There may be residents that find this hard to believe so we went to the 2020 data that the City provided to TansparentCalifornia.com — it can be found on the City website under public records request 21-5050 — and verified the following:
Deanna Santana’s compensation looks like this:
Her regular pay is $460,529
Other pay $60,989
Health Benefits $27,602
This amount is exactly $467,863 more than California Governor Gavin Newsom earns.
While discussing compensation, why is Santa Clara still paying City Attorney Brian Doyle $505,529 in salary and benefits — he’s also collecting a six-figure pension from San Jose — when he has cost Santa Clara residents $5,000,000 in dubious and controversial legal expenses?