7 Jul 2011

Payment for services rendered

Lloyd Carter reports on the salaries of various top Westlands* staffers, many making over $150,000 per year.

$6 million in salaries may be a small price to pay in a district that grosses $1 billion per year, especially when many of the top officials spend more time on lobbying for cheap water** than directing irrigation rigs.

That said, I also find this amusing (sad?):
Westlands General Manager Thomas Birmingham makes $350,004 a year, plus benefits, expenses and a state pension program funded by CalPERS. For comparison purposes, the governor of California and its 37 million people makes $212,179.
I guess he's providing 50% more benefits to the People of California.

Bottom Line: Sometimes you get what you pay for, sometimes you don't.
* Westlands is a California public agency.

** Cheap because Westlands has not paid for 80% of the capital costs in its delivery system; it still owes over $700 million to the Bureau of Reclamation, if I remember right.