One in Four Decline Newsom's Pay Cut Offer

Mayor to remind leaders of city departments that he wants to see them give

By Jackson West
|  Monday, Jun 14, 2010  |  Updated 3:30 PM PDT
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Gavin Newsom will once again ask department heads in San Francisco to give back to help with public perception. Oh, and San Francisco's budget deficit.

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Having arranged for most city employees to a 4.6 percent pay cut in the form of reduced hours to help balance the city's budget, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom asked executive officials to give a little more in a largely symbolic gesture -- a total of ten percent in givebacks or reduced hours.

But of the 58 department chiefs, only 14 have taken him up on his offer. Among those holding out is Police Chief George Gascon, whom Newsom hired only last year.

Of course, even though he's the chief of his department, Gascon doesn't nearly make as much as the highest-paid police officer -- former Deputy Police Chief Charles Keohane managed to make $516,118 in 2009.

On the other hand, widely unloved Municipal Transportation Agency Executive Director Nathaniel Ford -- who has the highest salary on the city's payroll -- has agreed, and is also deferring some bonus payments.

Newsom is expected to remind everyone at a meeting on Monday that while, yes, it's only expected to save the city $1.6 million, sometimes you have to throw some metaphorical meat to the mob lest they take up torches and pitchforks.

Especially if you want the unions you negotiated the payroll cuts with to throw money and volunteers your way between now and election day.

Jackson West will not be volunteering for any pay cuts.

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