Los Angeles today became the largest city in the United States to post the salaries of virtually all its employees online.
City Controller Wendy Greuel said the database was posted in response to the salary scandal in the city of Bell.
"In light of what happened in Bell, I thought it was important for Los Angeles to set an example and post the salary of every city employee online," Greuel said. "The public's trust has been broken as a result of the recent scandal in Bell. This is an important step to provide greater transparency and openness in how taxpayer dollars are spent."
The database lists every position in the city of Los Angeles, sorted by department, and the corresponding salary. The names of the employees holding the position are not listed. The database will be updated later, to reflect actual compensation for employees when furloughs and overtime are factored in, Greuel said.
She said updates will be made quarterly. Salaries at the Department of Water and Power and Community Redevelopment Agency are not included in the list, since the City Controller's office does not manage those payrolls.
Greuel urged leaders at both the DWP and CRA to post their salaries, as well, saying: "Angelenos have a right to know how their taxpayer dollars are being spent, and I think this is an important step in that direction."
Greuel's spokesman, Ben Golombek, said some people who tried to access the database today were unable to do so, because the City Controller's website was experiencing a high volume of traffic.
He said the problems were being addressed. "We've obviously gotten a lot of hits today, so in a couple of instances (the database) couldn't load," he said. "ITA (the city's Information Technology Agency) assured me that if people try a second time, it should work."
The website of the city administrative officer, who is the city's top budget analyst and chief labor negotiator, has for years listed the range of salaries for each city employee position. The CAO's site also posted the salaries and the names of the city's general managers, who are some of the city's highest-paid workers.
Bell's top officials received some of the highest municipal wages in the nation. City Administrative Officer Robert Rizzo made $787,637 a year, almost twice the salary of President Barack Obama; police Chief Randy Adams made $457,000 annually; and Assistant City Manager Angela Spaccia made $376,288. All three recently resigned in the face of mounting public anger in the small working-class city southeast of downtown Los Angeles.