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How much do Alhambra city employees make? **Updated

The State Controller's office has published an almost comprehensive list of compensation details for public workers. Alhambra is included, from City Manager Julio Fuentes ($212,259, according to 2009 W2 forms) to City Council Members (all in the $11,000 range, also according to 2009 W2 forms). The list of compensation for almost evey city in the state can be found here.

The Alhambra Source is going to do some investigating into this data, but first we'd appreciate some reader help:

For the technically adept out there — could anyone transform the data into an open Google document? (Much thanks to Andrew and Eric).

Alhambra's top 15 spots, according to W2 Forms

Here is a link to a Google doc spreadsheet. It can be altered. If anyone else out there would like to add to the spreadsheet — for example we still need to add Alhambra Unified School District salaries — that would be very helpful. In addition, I'd like to be able to post an interactive chart that I could dispay here, which could put Alhambra in perspective of state and local salaries. Anyone want to make one?

One note: I spoke with Clara Wong, the interim finance director of the city of Alhambra. She said the reason that a fire fighter with a base salary of $67,884 made $245,225 in 2009, according to his W2 form, was that it was actually two fire fighters. (Though even with two, that is, indeed, much higher than the base salary.) She also explained that the reason so many employees of the fire department were earning tens of thousands of dollars higher than their base salaries, was that having them work overtime rather than hiring new workers actually saves the city money. 

Now, what questions would you like answered about these salaries? What other information would you like included? Either comment below, on the spreadsheet, or send e-mails to [email protected]


The Alhambra Source encourages comment on our stories. However, we do not vet comments for accuracy or endorse links to posts in the comment section. The thoughts and opinions expressed belong solely to the author of the comment.

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7 thoughts on “How much do Alhambra city employees make? **Updated”

  1. Wish I had the connections

    Mark Paulson gets all of the School District excess properties to sell. There are four properties currently that he has exclusive rights to represent. If I was a real estate agent in Alhambra, I would be wondering why he always is the agent they call.

  2. “Long-time Alhambran” you hit the nail on the head. I can’t count the number of council meetings during the Talbot/Paulson era that the sitting council members excused themself for a “conflict of interest” issue while their buddy voted YES on the new development. It was like a tag team wrestling match. This went on so long that is was considered normal here in Alhambra. The concept that any development should first consider the impact on the residents was not on the table. Talmage Burke set the model and those that followed learned from the master.

  3. Hi,

    I tried the link and got this message: “We’re sorry, you do not have permission to access this spreadsheet.” Please advise. Thank you.

    1. Should be fixed now — If anyone has problems please let me know!

  4. Thanks Andrew! I will post the link to the document soon so that readers can add comments and questions.

  5. Hi, I am surprised to learn that life guards are compensated more than City Council Members! I just transformed the data into an open Google document and sent the link to [email protected]. Thanks for sharing this information with the readers.

    1. Long-time Alhambran

      Let me tell you, city council members benefit FAR MORE than their base salary. Many are current and former real estate agents (like former councilman/mayor Mark Paulson who seems to be the exclusive agent for all city-owned properties that go on the market), or developers/developer’s wives like the Messinas who profit handsomely from mega-developments that are approved on their watch. I mean, why would our city council still approve developments from indicted convicts like Parker Williams, who’s had many of his projects rubber-stamped?

      Keep in mind that council campaigns are funded in large part by outside (e.g., outside of Alhambra) special interest firms always hidden under the name of “Friends of _____ .” If you follow the money trail, you’ll see that these firms or individuals are directly tied to large-scale developments. Look at how many councilpersons in the SGV who have been indicted recently after taking bribes from developers? Remember former Alhambra councilman Dan Arguello who wore a hidden microphone and got developer Parker Williams on tape bribing him to vote on a major housing project? Arguello took the tape to the authorities and what was his reward?

      The rest of the Alhambra Council at the time (Messina, Talbot, etc.) ganged up on him with hefty financial backing from developers with a lie that Arguello was going to “bring in gaming casinos to Alhambra” and the stupid public bought it hook, line and sinker (Alhambra isn’t even ZONED for gaming!!). Arguello lost the council race for being honest. Read about it here:


      This corruption has been happening for decades in Alhambra beginning way back with the Burke Family (remember the 50-year term council member whose father was an Alhambra attorney back in the 1920’s?) As a council member/mayor, Mr. Burke would get the inside scoop on properties soon to be up for sale, get 3rd party buyers that he’d front the money to purchase the property, let them sit on it for awhile, then resell it down the line to a large development firm (why do you think there are so many mega-apartments in our city?) at a nice profit with the 3rd party getting a nice chunk for their participation. He would also befriend old folks who, upon their death, would coincidentally also handle the trust to their estate. Don’t believe me? Read the old Alhambra-Advocate newspapers obituary sections and see how many times “Talmadge Burke” is listed as the deceased estate attorney.

      Many former and current Alhambra officials own beachside homes in Orange County or lavish out-of-state “vacation” homes yet still retain Alhambra addresses in order to keep this money flow coming. While certainly not at the blatant level as the City of Bell, Alhambra politicos found out long ago that if you bring in a high immigrant population — especially those from a country that never questions it’s government — you will either have an apathetic or fearful citizenry who will never be any wiser to their shenanigans.