In 2004, the city of Oakland refused to give the Contra Costa Times a list of all city employees making more than $100,000 a year. The CCT sued all the way up to the California Supreme Court which, on August 27, upheld the CCT’s view of things.
The Mercury News, and no doubt a number of other newspapers in California, immediately proceeded to file open records requests under California law so they could tell their readers about state and local government salaries in their area.
As the newspaper notes, they’ve gotten the information they sought from 1/3 of the 29 local government organizations from which they sought it. Other local government groups have various reasons for not being able to immediately provide the requested data.
One noteworthy result in the information receive so far is that in the Santa Clara Valley Water District:
About 310 of the district’s 795 employees earned six-figure salaries, including 11 who made more than $200,000. That’s a far higher percentage of workers making more than $100,000 than in either the city San Jose or Santa Clara County. District Chief Executive Officer Stanley Williams earned the most at his agency, with a gross salary of $241,000.
Update: Tamara Thompson at PIBuzz is also covering this story.