San Jose police chief clears $534,000 during final year in position

Not a bad deal at all, but wait till you hear how much he gets to make in retirement. Yes, this is an individual case that does not represent every public employee. But it is a good example of what is wrong with the system. Cities and towns are writing post-dated checks that must be cashed for decades to come.


The latest information about the salaries and benefits of each San Jose city employee was posted online Friday in an effort to maintain transparency in the city’s government.

The compensation information, which can be accessed at, is from 2010, the latest year available, according to city officials.

Former police Chief Robert Davis had the highest total compensation – more than $534,000 in salary and benefits – for the year, according to the report.

In late July 2010, Davis announced he was going to retire from the San Jose department after 30 years on the force. Over at San Jose Inside we learn Davis earned an annual salary of $215,000 per year, and was entitled to an annual pension of $193,500. It’s not clear if the pension includes benefits.

I completely understand this was the agreement made at the time, but we must learn from these contracts. It is absolutely unacceptable for towns, cities and states to make agreements with government employees where the actual cost – 30 to 40 years from now – are totally unknown. The private sector would be stupid to do this as well, and they have learned lessons during the past decade. Retirement funding responsibility for non-union employers has moved back to the employer while providing them with the tools to help manage their retirement.

I think it would be safe to say instead of the company investing themselves to fund pensions, they are taking the money they would have invested and distributed those funds to employees through a combination of 401k-type programs, stock rewards, and the ability to purchase discounted company stock.

The responsibility must move to the individual. Let’s take the responsibility seriously.

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