SACRAMENTO COUNTY, Calif. — The highest paid person in the City of Sacramento was set to get even more money. City Manager Howard Chan is one of the highest-paid city managers in the state and Tuesday night, city council members were to consider paying him more until it was removed from their docket.
City Councilmembers discussed whether Chan should get approved for a cost of living adjustment, which would be different than a standard raise.
Just last November, the City Council approved a 7.5% pay raise for Chan. With that raise, he made $192.62 an hour, including an extra 30 days of paid time off. That put him just above $400,000 a year.
Chan's new hourly rate would have been $202.24, which would also include an additional 240-hours of leave time. That would be about a $20,000 pay bump.
A spokesperson for the City Manger's office says this salary increase being considered was for a cost of living adjustment and the extra paid time off is not related to the cost of living. For some city residents, it doesn't make sense how a public official could make so much money.
"It's going to be perceived as a raise to you and me. I can't understand how they can possibly justify that given all of the crisis-level emergencies that we're still dealing with on top of a budget shortfall," said community activist Keyan Bliss.
All of this comes just after the council voted to give Chan the full authority to make decisions on how to deal with the homeless crisis. On top of that, Chan is responsible for all city departments, including the Sacramento Police Department.
ABC10 asked his office, during a time when many people are struggling financially to pay bills and food, does the city manager feel like he deserves another pay increase. A spokesperson for his office did not answer the question and declined an interview. Mayor Darrell Steinberg also would not comment on this before the meeting.
(Editor's Note: An earlier version of this article stated the Sacramento City Council approved Sacramento City Manager Howard Chan’s salary increase. The part of the agenda item regarding increases for him and other city officials was removed but the rest of the agenda item passed. We’re sorry for the error.)