The City of Gilroy’s wages and benefits for its city workers place it among the top 20 percent in the entire state, according to a new report.

In her annual report of Government Compensation in California, 2018, State Comptroller Betty Yee reported that  the average salary of Gilroy city employees last year was $67,016, almost as high as one of Santa Clara County’s most affluent cities, Los Altos, at $68,488.

An estimate of Gilroy’s median pay for full-time employees, the midpoint in a list of all full-time salaries, is nearly $100,000.

Gilroy’s numbers closely match the average of all of the state’s 467 cities included in Yee’s report, with a statewide average salary for all 327,721 city employees of $69,786. Gilroy’s average health insurance and pension payments, of $18,587 per employee, are slightly behind the statewide average for benefits, at $21,205, according to the report, which was released June 25.

Gilroy’s average pay and average benefits payment for all full-time, part-time and seasonal employees is significantly higher than its closest neighbor to the north, Morgan Hill, where the average employee salary it $47,554 and average benefit payment is $9,253.

Gilroy’s staffing level also is leaner, with 440 total employees in 2018, compared to the total employees in Morgan Hill, with 513 employees and 45,742 population, or in Watsonville, with 663 employees and a population of 53,570. GIlroy’s population, as reported in Yee’s report, is 55,928.

Morgan Hill staff totals do not include firefighters, because it contracts with Cal Fire for city fire service. 

Yee’s report also covered California counties. It showed that while Gilroy’s municipal payroll ranks in the top 20 percent of the state’s cities, Santa Clara County has the highest in the state, with an average salary for all 22,158 employees of $92,069.

The average annual pay for the county’s full- and part-time employees in 2018 was nearly $10,000 more than the number-two county, Alameda, and $25,000 more than Gilroy.

Firefighters accounted for six of the 10 highest-paid city employees in Gilroy, and nine of the 15 city employees who earned more than $190,000 in 2018, according to the report. Firefighter pay also includes overtime pay.

The annual pension and health benefits for the firefighters ranged from $30,000 to $61,000. 

A fire division chief, for example, earned $216,980 in 2018—the second-highest paid city employee, more than City Administrator Gabriel Gonzalez, at $226,889 and $20,000 more than the fire chief in 2018. Gonzales makes more than $45,000 less than his counterpart in Morgan Hill.

Police Chief Scot Smithee was paid $202,825 in 2018, plus $65,043 in health insurance and pension benefits, according to the report. This is more than $21,000 less than his counterpart in Morgan Hill.

Similar reports on compensation in state government departments, California’s state universities and superior courts are to be released this month.

For details, see

Gilroy’s Top Ten Salaries

Title            pay        benefits

City Administrator    $226,889         $24,999

Fire Division Chief       216,980         61,960

Fire Captain              212,039         51,567

Police Sergeant       211,001         57,252

Fire Chief                  206,301         30,724

Police Chief              202,825         65,043

Fire Captain              201,029         52,814

Fire Captain              198,711         55,162

Finance Director      198,507         22,619

Fire Captain              197,914         51,567

Previous articleGood Times purchases Watsonville Register-Pajaronian
Next articleSpecial 150th anniversary logo unveiled


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here