Contra Costa fire chiefs manage multimillion-dollar public agencies responsible for many lives and much property. Are they worth what taxpayers pay for their salaries, insurance and retirement? A sampling from the 2011 Bay Area News Group public employee salary database shows what they earned and the value of their benefits. San Ramon Fire Chief Richard Price topped the Contra Costa list with a salary of $260,410. His benefits were worth an additional $175,011. (To save the district money, Price "retired" this year but remains on the payroll as chief for $1 a month. He worked in another Bay Area district for most of his career, where he draws most of his pension.) Lagging in second place, Moraga-Orinda Chief Randy Bradley earned $204,754, while his benefits cost $79,397. By comparison, the chiefs of the two largest fire districts in neighboring Alameda County collected pay and benefits comparable to the San Ramon and Moraga-Orinda leaders. Now-retired Alameda County Fire District Chief Sheldon Gilbert was paid $230,262 plus $94,692 in benefits. Then-Oakland Fire Chief Mark Hoffmann collected $209,213 in wages, and his benefits cost an additional $70,367. Rounding out the middle of the Contra Costa pack were El Cerrito Fire Chief Lance Maples with a salary of $162,838 plus $92,132 in benefits; East Contra Costa Fire District Chief Hugh Henderson, with $138,232 in wages and $114,340 in benefits; and Contra Costa Fire District Chief Daryl Louder with $184,260 in wages plus $62,897 in benefits. Richmond Fire Chief Michael Banks was last at $185,325 in salary. His benefits cost $56,369.
Source: Bay Area News Group 2011 public employee salary database