Experts Expound

Experts Expound

“Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who talks a lot about budget cutting, has raised the pay of four dozen of his top administrators, some by more than 23 percent. One person’s salary went from $133,732 to $169,500. Is this justifiable?”

Sure it is. How do we expect to get top-quality people if we aren’t willing to pay them? The revolving door of senior state employees is not something that is helping state government. If Perata continues to pay Irwin Nowick almost $100,000 per year then he has no room to complain.

Posturing answer: This is the same guy who wants to punish kids in the budget. Regular answer: Sign me up, governor.

From a human-resources perspective, the raises make sense. From a political perspective, they could be hurtful. The $169,500 salary is more than twice the median income for a California family of four.

This move has nothing to do with increasing costs. All the salary adjustments are done within existing budgets. It simply allows managers to pay more for talent from within their current budgets. People doing the same jobs in local government are making 40-percent more than state employees.

Absolutely justifiable! How can you expect smart, talented people to work in leadership roles in government unless they are paid comparably to the private sector. It’s been an issue for years with physicians and psychiatrists, and with low salaries you only attract the bottom feeders that can’t work anywhere else.
It would be justifiable if the people of California were getting an equal return on their tax investment, but they’re not.

Yes. You have to compete with the private sector for talented people. This is the same silly story that runs against every governor and every president of either party. Yawn.

No. But there are so many other things to be more angry at the governor over.

In a word, no. It is the height of political hypocrisy to stubbornly and
arbitrarily dish out lucrative raises to favored staff while, at the same time, preparing to slash billions of dollars in critical state services, as is expected in the May Revise. Even Gray Davis wasn’t that tone deaf.

How dare you even question Team Arnold? I hope Adam sent you a nasty note …

What’s appalling about it is that this administration tells us they can’t afford decent raises for the rank-and-file working people, like the state scientists who toil every day to protect our health and our environment and make this state livable. That’s what’s not justifiable.

Not when he’s asking everyone else to make sacrifices, but it’s consistent with this hypocritical say-one-thing-and-do-another administration.

The people from whom we sought opinions: : Andrew Acosta, A.G. Block, Deborah Gonzalez, Don Wilcox, Dan Schnur, Evan Goldberg, Sam Sorich, Karen Hanretty, Jason Kinney, Matt Ross, Mike Madrid, Kevin Spillane, Morgan Crinklaw, Ralph Simoni, Richard Zeiger, Peter DeMarco, Adam Probolsky, Barbara O’Connor, Jeff Fuller, Kassy Perry, Adam Mendelsohn, Ken Gibson, Bill Packer, Jack Pitney, Sandy Harrison, Steve Maviglio, Nicole Mahrt, Will Shuck, Bob Hertzberg, Evan Goldberg, Roger Salazar, Mark Bogetich, Matt Rexroad, Tony Quinn, Scout Baugh.

Want to see more stories like this? Sign up for The Roundup, the free daily newsletter about California politics from the editors of Capitol Weekly. Stay up to date on the news you need to know.

Sign up below, then look for a confirmation email in your inbox.


Support for Capitol Weekly is Provided by: