The city of Grass Valley is developing a reputation for being generous when it comes to paying its top executives. When they hired City Manager Bob Richardson, his base salary topped that of county CEO Rick Haffey. It looks like new police Chief Alex Gammelgard will get similar treatment.
Gammelgard, a local boy who worked his way up through the ranks, is expected receive a base salary of $150,000. When you add-on benefits and the retirement contribution made by the city, his total compensation will easily top that of retired Chief John Foster in 2014, the last year for which figures are available from the state Controller’s Office.
(All compensation figures in this article are for 2014, and are taken from a database compiled in February by The Sacramento Bee using figures provided by the controller’s office.)
The new chief’s total compensation will also make him competitive with his peers in Auburn ($161,495) and Truckee ($165,463). But when it comes to the cop on the beat, Grass Valley isn’t so competitive.
The average compensation for Grass Valley’s police officers was $69,169 in 2014. They could have made more as sheriff’s deputies ($76,625) or in Truckee ($77,477). But why make the commute over Donner Summit when you can make $20,000 a year more in Auburn ($89,958)?
Somebody has to pay the price for high executive salaries.