It pays to work for local government. And for public employees in the Bay Area, that payoff amounted to more than $12 billion last year. Three of those employees raked in more than half a million dollars each last year.
The information is revealed in a searchable database of Bay Area public employees that was created by our friends in the Bay Area News Group.
The database covers more than 200,000 workers in 109 agencies in the Bay Area.
According to the data, Nancy Farber, the chief administrator of Fremont's Washington Hospital, made more than $847,000 last year. Charles Keohane grossed $516,000 in his final year as a San Francisco deputy police chief. That salary includes $352,000 in vacation and comp time. And Dr. Jana Dolnikova of Valley Medical Center made $507,000.
The database also found that fire department employees are the highest paid city government workers. The Alameda County Fire Department topped the list with an average salary of about $144,000 for its 311 emoployees in 2009. Firefighters in four Bay Area cities grossed more than $150,000 last year.
The database is a work in progress, the group says, and will be updated frequently.