The San Jose Mercury News filed a public records request for the 2008 payroll records for all city workers in order to create public employee compensation databases. All jurisdictions provided the full records except for Watsonville, which is releasing information "as it becomes available." Watsonville initially just released records on the highest paid police officers and firefighters. It hurried to released the names and salaries of other employees who made more than $100,000 because some thought police and firefighters were being targeted. The city attorney says Watsonville is only legally bound to release records for employees with salaries of $100,000 or more.
City officials have released the names and salaries of 27 employees who made more than $100,000 in 2008.
The release came late Friday, a day after the Sentinel published the names of police and firefighters who earned more than $100,000 in 2008, a story that sparked controversy in City Hall corridors and in the community.
On April 27, the Sentinel made a public records request for the 2008 pay records for all city workers as part of a countywide project to create public employee compensation databases. The city and county of Santa Cruz databases are available on the Sentinel's Web site, santacruzsentinel.com.