The story about the top paychecks among city employees was a shock when you see how it is dominated by the police and fire departments. With the cost of living in this area being so much lower than other places such as the Bay Area, why do these wages need to be so high? Every time there is a budget problem, positions are eliminated at the bottom of the pay scale rather than looking at the idea of keeping the lower-paid positions and getting rid of some of the middle or high ones. Maybe they should get a wage freeze.
The high-wage earners want to keep their jobs because the money is so high for a lower-cost area. How about next time the budget needs a trim by 5 percent, ask for that much back on these high wages? If they want raises in the good times, they should be prepared for a cut in the bad times.
Look at Vallejo for an example of what can happen if wages exceed income. They negotiated pay cuts to keep the city from bankruptcy. Additionally, I bet the average family's paycheck in the Modesto area is probably around half these wages, and that is with both persons working.