Number of city employees making $300,000 a year jumps to 27; salaries for 2023 are out

Daily Post Staff Writer

The number of city employees who made more than $300,000 nearly tripled last year, according to pay records released by the city of Palo Alto.

City employees in the $300,000 club went from three in 2020, seven in 2021 and 10 in 2022. Last year, 27 employees broke the $300,000 threshold.

City Manager Ed Shikada received $413,330 in total pay, not including benefits, making him the city’s highest paid employee in 2023.

Two employees — fire Capt. Matthew Goglio and utilities system operator Raymond Herrera — keep pacing the city in overtime pay. Goglio received $178,802 for overtime last year, and Herrera received $163,692, pay records show. They both received similar amounts in 2022.

Goglio has received $753,488 from the city in the past two years, as the overtime work essentially doubles his pay.

Herrera has received $689,364 in the same time frame.

That doesn’t include benefits, which have cost the city around $30,000 a year for each employee, pay records show.

The city also contributed $144,558 to Goglio’s pension last year, and $76,514 for Herrera when he retires.

The city spent $11.6 million on overtime last year, pay records show. That’s up from $9.9 million in 2022.

The city’s total payroll reached $148 million last year. That’s up 13% from $131 million in 2022 and $124 million in 2021.

Council last summer approved new contracts for its employees that give them raises from 7% to 21%, depending on the job. The raises took effect on July 1, 2023.

The city had 1,315 employees on payroll last year, pay records show.
Another 182 city employees made more than $200,000 last year, and 494 employees made between $100,000 and $200,000.

Below are the 27 employees who made more than $300,000 last year.
Their total pay includes regular pay, overtime, cashed out amounts such as vacation time, and other pay, such as car or housing allowances. It does not include employee benefits such as contributions to pensions or health insurance.

City Manager Ed Shikada — $413,330
Police Chief Andrew Binder — $391,657
City Attorney Molly Stump — $384,640
Fire Capt. Matthew Goglio — $380,193
Utilities System Operator Raymond Herrera — $372,288
Fire Chief Geo Blackshire — $369,474
Utilities Director Dean Batchelor — $332,339
Utilities System Operator Vincent Tham — $331,232
Fire Apparatus Operator Sunny Johnson Gutter — $328,407
Deputy Fire Chief Kevin McNally — $326,858
Police Sgt. Dan Pojanamat — $324,817
Lineman George Haupert — $322,411
Fire Capt. David Dahl — $321,380
Fire Capt. Carlos Gracia — $321,325
Firefighter Chris Pombo — $318,245
Assistant City Manager Kiely Nose — $318,226
Police Sgt. Michael Foley — $317,980
Police Agent Michael Kan — $315,922
Battalion Chief William Dale — $315,082
Fire Capt. Sean MacDonald — $313,939
Police Sgt. Erin Goodell — $313,225
Battalion Chief Shane Yarbrough — $309,812
Planning Director Jonathan Lait — $308,841
Hazardous Materials Inspector Michael Espeland — $307,131
Fire Capt. Richard Albright — $304,609
Police Lt. Chong In Lee — $300,653
Fire Capt. Jesse Wooton — $300,429