Madera City Manager Paid $214, 884 (Pop. 63,000) Fresno City Manager $235,000 (Pop. 520,000)

We all know about the scandals in Bell, California and other cities where outrageous salaries and benefits were paid to city officials.  In looking at notes on the State Controllers web site and the information on “Transparent California” web site, I decided to look at adjoining cities in the Central Valley—the city of Madera and the city of Fresno.  What I found was shocking.  Comparing the salaries paid to the city managers of the respective cities, you will find out why folks have little trust or respect for government.

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Look at the numbers for population, budgets and salaries and see if they make sense to you?  What do you think?  Does the City Manager of Madera get paid too much or the City Manager of Fresno get paid too little?  What do you think?

The people of Madera need to ask—are you getting your monies worth?

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The Crazy Cost of Government In City of Madera vs. City of Fresno

Editorial by Stephen Frank, Exclusive to California Political News and Views,  5/23/16

The City Manager of the City of Madera is paid $214,000 a year.  Madera is a town of 63,000 and has a budget of $85 million in 2015-16.  Then you have the City Manager of the City of Fresno.  He gets paid $235,000 per year.  Fresno is a town of 520,000 and has a 2016fy budget of $1.251 billion.  The salaries of both do not include benefits.  Just the size of the cities, in comparison, shows that the people of the City of Madera are paying too much for a city manager.  What do you think?

Oh, the total revenues, from all sources in the City of Fresno of fy 2016 is projected to be $1.51 billion.

The city of Fresno has a total of 3300 employees.  The city of Madera has a total of 307

You may ask who is responsible.  In both cases it is the City Council that agrees to the contract with the City manager.  They make the final decision, they vote for the contract, the salary and the benefits.

Fresno has over 700 police officers.  Madera has 77

Looks to me like the city council of Madera has a lot to explain?  Especially those who have been on a council a town time, setting this up.  Fresno has 8.5 times the number of people in the city, nine times the number of law enforcement personnel, nine times the number of city employees—yet pays the City Manager only $20,00 more per year.

The new budget of the City of Madera is being discussed right now—this is the time to start asking questions about pay scales, work load, etc.  Oh, the City of Fresno provides a complete explanation for the expenditure of $1.5 billion in under 400 pages.  Madera takes 499 pages to explain its budget.

Will you attend the budget hearings?  Will you accept the new Impact Fees approved by the City Council?  When you take an active interest in local government?

For a copy of the City of Fresno contract, go here:

For a copy of the City of Madera salary schedule, go here:  (under City Administrator)

City of Fresno budget is here:

City of Madera Budget is here:  Go to about  page 496 to find number of employees


About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.


  1. askeptic says

    They are all overpaid, at all levels of government.

    • alibertarian says

      Definitely overpaid. I just read that the Madera County supervisors gave themselves a raise. Ridiculous. Time to get these government parasites out of office.

    • JustAnHonestOpinion says

      agreed, they are all over paid. They constantly vote themselves raises just look at the madera county supervisors. crazy.

  2. Hi Steve, this is Bob Kowell. Murrieta had a city manager named Ron Bradly that received $25K per month. That was in 2007. We ended up passing Murrieta Measure E to counter it but the city never implemented it.

  3. Boy, it sure would be good to know how long each city manager has been in his/her job and how much experience they have. Not that it justifies salaries that are out of whack with reality, but we really don’t know if that’s true, do we – with only a 2-city sampling?

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