As Madera falls deeper into debt, city employees' salaries come into question

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People in Madera now want answers when it comes to city employees' salaries.

Especially since the city is estimated to be about $1.8 million in debt.

According to the organization Transparent California, the city Manager of Madera makes more than $337,000 compared to the $302,000 that the Fresno City Manager makes. And the city of Fresno has about 450,000 more people than Madera.

The Madera Development Director makes $265,000, whereas the Development Director in Fresno makes $214,000.

And it continues, the Madera City Attorney makes $278,000 and the Fresno City Attorney makes $245,000.

When Madera's Mayor, Andrew Medellin was asked about these raises he said after the recession they found out that it had been five years since a city employee got a raise.

So, officials began trying to figure out how big of a raise city employees would get.

In 2014 the city conducted a study to determine where city employees' salaries fell in comparison to surrounding cities.

It was determined that salary could increase for certain employees by up to 20% in some cases.

According to Mayor Medellian, that same year the city negotiated an additional 11% increase over the course of a three year period.

Mayor Medellin says rising health care costs and retirement cost also led to an increase in base salaries.

During a city council meeting Wednesday several people showed up to address this issue, saying they feel there is a lack of transparency and a lack of trust between the citizens and its council.

Some say they have been asking for an audit to be done by an independent agency and want the salaries to be rolled back to what they were like in 2013.

Mayor Medellin says the city is looking for a company that can come in and make adjustments.

Salary information can be found on the "Transparent California" website, as well as the City of Madera website.

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