In a recent commentary (Mayor takes a look at employee compensation for city, Jan 3, 2018, The Madera Tribune) Madera Mayor Andy Medellin seeks to discredit an analysis that correctly reported on the city’s rising employee compensation costs by falsely claiming the source data was inaccurate.
Specifically, the Mayor wrote that TransparentCalifornia.com is “an online, self-reporting non profit organization that has no guidelines or procedures for reporting, ensuring inaccuracies.”
This is demonstrably false. The data on our site comes directly from the City of Madera in response to our annual request for an accounting of employee compensation costs. Our request and the City’s response provide the information broken out in the various pay and benefits categories. In other words, base pay is reported as base pay, benefits as benefits and so forth. This format is identical to the request we submit to the other 2,500 California government agencies on our site and mirrors the categories reported by the California State Controller’s Office.
The city has always provided the information in the format requested without issue, which we then post on our site in exactly the manner it was provided to us. Anyone can confirm the above by simply submitting their own request to the city for a copy of all records relating to our original request.
Because of our reputation for accuracy, TransparentCalifornia.com is used by millions of Californians each year, including elected officials and lawmakers, government employees and their unions, government agencies themselves, university researchers, the media, and concerned citizens alike.
Rather than slinging falsehoods in an attempt to “shoot the messenger,” the Mayor should instead focus on providing Madera residents with the honest and sincere answers they are entitled to.
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Robert Fellner is research director for TransparentCalifornia.com — the state’s largest public pay and pension database.