How much do City Manager’s Earn?

by:  Diane Benjamin

The Bloomington City Council is once again considering what David Hales should be paid as City Manager.  Here is some information they should consider:

Decatur is bigger than Bloomington – around 81,000 residents.  Their City budget is only $130 million as opposed to Bloomington’s which is at least $169 million.    They have a City Manager too.  Salary:  $136,604 (

Champaign is bigger than Bloomington too.  They also have a City Manager – salary $173,000

An interesting website I found, City Manager salaries:

$48,630 – $151,839
See this previous post from when the Council was considering the last pay increase for David Hales:
When Hales was hired he also received a car allowance of $475 per month!  (
From around the country:  (all these cities are much bigger than Bloomington, except Greenville)
More information:   Select cities – with experience, scope of job added Columbia City Council members looked at what a wide range of other cities pay their city managers before deciding to pay newly hired Teresa Wilson $190,000 a year. Mayor Steve Benjamin said council also looked at the size of those cities’ budgets. But council members did not consider the experience of the people currently holding those jobs. So The State newspaper surveyed a sampling of those cities and asked about experience.  Here’s what we found:
  •  Columbia, S.C. – pop. 130,591 General fund budget: $300 million Estimated number of employees: 2,200 City manager’s salary: $190,000 Years of experience: 5 years, 11 months total with city of Columbia. Also, 1 year in university government and community relations
  •  Greenville, S.C. – pop. 60,379 General fund budget: $136 million budget Estimated number of employees: 1,000 City manager’s salary: $158,704 Years of experience: 2 years, 6 months as city manager; 4 years, 2 months as deputy city manager/chief operating officer; 2 years, 10 months as assistant city manager; 17 years total with the city
  • Coral Springs, Fla. – pop. 123,338 General fund budget: $66 million Estimated number of employees: 768 City manager’s salary: $205,000 Years of experience: 2 years, 2 months as city manager; 10 years as deputy city manager; 10 years 2 months total with the city
  • Raleigh, N.C. – pop. 416,468 General fund budget: $430 million Estimated number of employees: 3,000 City manager’s salary: $232,800 Years of experience: 12 years as Raleigh’s city manager; 8 years as Rock Hill’s city manager; 4 years as Rock Hill’s assistant city manager; 4 years as Clinton’s city manager; 31 years of municipal management experience
  • Greensboro, N.C. – pop. 273,425 General fund budget: $450 million Estimated number of employees: 3,000 City manager’s salary: $175,000 Years of experience: 4 years as city manager; 1 year as interim city manager; 3 years as assistant city manager; 13 years of public-private economic development experience prior to municipal government experience Source: City managers; U.S. Census 2011 estimates

City government seems to consider a City Manager as the CEO of a corporation and think they should be paid as such.  Corporations have to answer to stock holders.  Most of the Bloomington City Council wants David Hales to have more power so they don’t have to make decisions.  Rubber stamps are raised and ready for whatever is proposed.

The biggest difference between corporations and city management is the bottom line.  CEO’s earn high salaries if the corporation performs well and makes money.  Cities don’t have to be efficient.  Bloomington didn’t budget for funding pensions and fixing roads.  They borrowed money to do the jobs they are required to do.  I assume tax increases are still being considered.  Should David Hales be given a raise?  Maybe we should wait for the new Communications Manager to tell us what to think!

The Council might want to take into account that citizens are actually seeing decreases in the incomes.

No wonder so few Americans seem to think their economy is in recovery: They keep getting poorer. Unless they are rich, in which case they keep getting richer.

Median household income fell for the fifth straight year in 2012, the Census Bureau reported on Tuesday, to $51,017. That was the lowest annual income, adjusted for inflation, since 1995.

The typical American family’s income has fallen every year since 2007, the year the Great Recession began, for a cumulative decline of 8.3 percent. Median income is also down 9 percent from its record high of $56,080, set two recessions ago in 1999. (Story continues below depressing chart.)

In Bloomington, are the rich going to get richer?




3 thoughts on “How much do City Manager’s Earn?

  1. Since Hales has so many assistants that previous city managers did not have, those numbers should be considered when giving him a raise and give him less. If he has less work and less responsibility we should pay him less. Soon Hamilon’s antics will be cost effective! Lol!

  2. Its time for the rubber stamp 7, get into action, making dicisions which was filtered down to Hale,David Hales doesn’t deserve a hug increase in pay !!

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