If you're a government employee and you want to get rich, you probably don't want to work at the Danville town offices.
However, if you're a municipal employee who wants a collaborative environment that makes a difference in its community, then you most likely would fit in well at the headquarters on La Gonda Way.
That's the sentiment that has emerged after the release of a survey of public employee salaries in the Bay Area.
"We run a tight ship," said Mayor Mike Doyle. "This is one of the leanest cities in the state."
"This is a small, dedicated group of employees," added Assistant Town Manager Marcia Somers. "They are here because they want to be here."
The survey, published by the Bay Area News Group, revealed 13 of Danville's 90 full-time employees made more than $100,000 in 2009. The figures included an employee's base salary as well as other compensation, including car allowances and "cashing out" on comp and leave time. Medical and other benefits were not included.
By comparison, Dublin, with slightly more than 40,000 residents (Danville has 43,000 residents), has 22 employees who topped the $100,000 mark last year.
Other nearby cities had far more six-figure salaries. San Ramon, a town of about 65,000 lists more than 100 employees in that category. Walnut Creek and Pleasanton both had more than 125 workers with $100,000-plus salaries.
Those three cities have more than 60,000 residents. They also have police departments whose employees account for one-third to one-half of the higher paid positions. Danville and Dublin both contract out for law enforcement services.
At the top of Danville's list is Joe Calabrigo, who has worked for the town since 1985 and as town manager since 1992. He earns a base salary of $207,000 with $29,000 in other compensation for a total of $236,000.
His salary is similar to most city managers in the area. Dublin City Manager Joni Pattillo was paid $227,000 last year. Pleasanton City Manager Nelson Fialho received $216,000. Walnut Creek City Manager Gary Pokorny received $230,000. All are less than the $356,000 earned by San Ramon City Manager Herb Moniz.
Next on Danville's list is City Attorney Robert Ewing at $192,000. He is followed by Development Services Director Steve Lake at $149,000. Somers is next with $145,000, followed by Transportation Director Tai Williams at $143,000 and Finance Director Elizabeth Hudson at $135,000.
The remaining six figure salaries are between $100,000 and $118,000.
Calabrigo said Danville's salaries are relatively low, especially considering most of the senior managers have worked for the town for more than 10 years.
"We have a very seasoned management team," he said. "It's one of the reasons we are able to provide the level of service that we do."
The town is looking at reducing its work force by one position the next fiscal year. It will also be the third year in a row town workers will not receive a raise. There is no employee union or association, so there is no built-in cost-of-living increase.
Nonetheless, the turnover at Danville's town offices is low. Those who work there list several reasons for employee loyalty.
Calabrigo said he tries to create an atmosphere of cooperation that allows employees to achieve objectives and get involved in projects they wouldn't get to work on in other towns.
"We have a very positive organizational culture here," he said. "We provide opportunities to grow and we promote from within the organization. We ask people here to help steer."
Somers has worked for Danville for 17 years, commuting from Santa Clara County. She said she stays here because of the collaborative environment.
"I work with an incredible group of people," she said. "It's very satisfying to work with people who all want to accomplish the same thing. We're working for more than money. We enjoy coming to work every day."
Somers said that atmosphere starts with the hiring process. The town seeks job applicants who share the staff's vision.
"We do expect people to get behind our philosophy and contribute their all to the job and the community," she said.
Williams has worked a total of 14 years in two stints at the Danville town offices. She's been in her current position of transportation director since 2001.
Like Calabrigo, she lives in Danville and says the support the staff gets from the town manager and elected officials makes the job enjoyable and productive.
"We all have a vested interest in watching things unfold here in the way we imagined they would," Williams said.
The mayor credits Calabrigo with bringing in quality people and then keeping them here.
"We have great people running the town. They do it all," Doyle said.
Town of Danville compensation over $100,000:
Joseph Calabrigo, town manager, $236,574
Robert Ewing, city attorney, $192,499
Steve Lake, development services director, $149,233
Marcia Somers, assistant town manager, $145,258
Tai Williams, transportation director, $143,822
Elizabeth Hudson, finance director, $135,608
Kevin Gailey, planning chief, $118,575
Gregory Gilbert, emergency services coordinator, $111,316
Denise Phoenix, human resources manager, $109,781
Michael Leontiades, chief building official, $109,482
Jed Johnson, maintenance services manager, $107,264
Renee Collins, information services manager, $107,006
Michael Stella, senior civil engineer, $100,879