Stanislaus County government truly has shrunk. County officials have made that argument for several years, as they laid off people and negotiated permanent salary cuts. The conclusion is confirmed in salary figures posted on the website of the State Controller's Office, which starting assembling and posting public salaries after the fiasco in Bell and several other cities that were grossly overpaying their top executives.
This site provides information about salaries for counties, cities and special districts, but not for school districts. The easy-to-use site also allows people to identify the locations of the highest paid public workers by occupation.
Political consultant Mike Lynch reviewed local agencies and offered some observations: From 2009 to 2011, Stanislaus County average wages dropped by $4,000, from $49,347 to $45,313, and the county's total wage cost dropped by more than $16 million. The average wage also dropped $2,300 in the city of Modesto, to $47,334 in 2011. Modesto is by far the largest city but is not the highest-paying city, however. That distinction belonged to Ceres, where the average pay in 2011 was $56,432.