Alameda County ‘secretary’ will retire wealthy

March 26, 2013

By Katy Grimes


Is anyone still buying the idea that government workers are “public servants,” and so valuable they must be paid so much more than their counterparts in the private sector? Or are some just better scammers?

Alameda County Administrator Susan Muranishi is currently paid more than $420,000 in pay and benefits… and she will receive more than $420,000 annually for the rest of her life, according to a scoop by Matier & Ross in the San Francisco Chronicle.

“The County Administrator is responsible for the implementation of policies and decisions of the Board of Supervisors,” the Alameda County website says. She’s the top secretary. It’s what we used to call today’s ‘administrators.’ Her office is responsible for managing the clerical support work for the County Supervisors.

Susan Muranishi is paid a base salary of nearly $302,000.  And Muranishi is allowed to pile on more than $121,000 in other compensation, including factoring in 10 percent more pay than anyone else in the county, equity and longevity pay, an annual performance bonus, $9,000 a year for serving on the county’s three-member Surplus Property Authority and $54,000 a year in “longevity” pay for having stayed with the county for more than 30 years, as well as a car allowance. Her annual salary now tops $423,000. That’s the highest for any county administrator in California.

“Annual performance bonus?” How is a performance bonus paid annually a bonus? Longevity pay? Surplus Property Authority? What is this garbage?

“The obscenely exorbitant salary received by the CAO of Alameda County reveals a fundamental disconnect between our public leaders and ordinary citizens,” said Jon Coupal, President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers’ Association, in a statement,. “The ‘guaranteed salary for life’ is particularly galling and will burden Alameda County taxpayers for decades.”

With a multimillion-dollar deficit, Alameda County public employees have the second highest average salaries in the state, a recent study reported. And those salaries average over $69,000 per year.

When the top secretary is making more than the governor, something stinks in the Golden State… and it smells like public employee unions.


Write a comment
  1. jimmydeeoc
    jimmydeeoc 26 March, 2013, 09:08

    Someone need to target a drone strike on this “administrator’s” house. That’ll sure put an end to that $400k+ annual pension obligation.

    Ohh don’t get your panties in a wad! I’m kidding, of course.

    At least I think I am. Am I? I’m experiencing right brain-left brain conflict. Let me get back with you on that. LOL

    Coupal was right. This is simply obscene.

    Reply this comment
    NTHEOC 26 March, 2013, 10:59

    Katy says,
    When the top secretary is making more than the governor, something stinks in the Golden State… and it smells like public employee unions.
    What union is Susan Muranishi in?

    Reply this comment
  3. Hondo
    Hondo 26 March, 2013, 11:18

    So, where do I apply for this secretary job? She must make pretty good coffee to get paid that much.
    This state is in the land of Oz. It has no touch with reality. And don’t expect the firefighters in this city to save you, or your daughter if you fall into the water. They gotta consult the union first.
    The unions in Alameda are a disgrace to the human race.

    Reply this comment
  4. Willa Morgan
    Willa Morgan 26 March, 2013, 11:40

    In the county I live in you need only work for the county for 5 years to qualify for retirement benefits. And we wonder why the state is broke???? I want that gal’s job!

    Reply this comment
    NTHEOC 26 March, 2013, 11:40

    Hondo, you are an idiot and have no idea what you are talking about!

    Reply this comment
  6. jimmydeeoc
    jimmydeeoc 26 March, 2013, 19:39

    actually he does, NTHEOC.

    recall the story about the depressed guy who waded into the bay off Alameda…..”heroic” first responders let the guy drown because they were not “water certified”. They sat there and watched for over an hour.

    Look it up.

    So as to you: Go pound sand. That’s about the nicest thing I can say that won’t earn me a demerit.

    Reply this comment
  7. Bob Smith
    Bob Smith 26 March, 2013, 21:07

    At a 5% assumed rate of return, that’s a cool $8.4 million pension. So much for public servants “not being millionaires”, as so many say to defend their pensions. Actually, at that rate of return a $50k pension is a cool million bucks, inflation-protected and guaranteed.

    Reply this comment
    NTHEOC 26 March, 2013, 21:57

    jimmydeeoc says:
    actually he does, NTHEOC.
    recall the story about the depressed guy who waded into the bay off Alameda…..”
    Yes moron,I remember the story and you should have the facts about what really happend before you spout off! First, it is not against the law to commit suicide and we are under no obligation to stop you. Second, this was a large man under the influence of drugs that went out into the freezing waters on his own and did not want help. Any firefighter or other rescue personnel that would have tried to enter the water to help him would have been drowned by this maniac. Ask any trained lifeguard how hard it is to rescue a combative person from water! This maniac was thrown rescue devices in which he refused to grab,the coast guard was radiod by the fire dept and other resources were called in also to help. And yes, this fire dept was not certified in swift water rescue nor did they have the proper equipment. Sounds like the city ponied up and has since paid to train their fire dept in water rescue. This is what happens when cities cheap out and take short cuts with public safety!

    Reply this comment
    NTHEOC 26 March, 2013, 22:02

    jimmydeeoc says:
    Look it up.
    I have actually read the after action incident report. Have you jimmy? No, all you have read is probably an uneducated non factual steven greenhut article and presumed it is all fact!

    Reply this comment
  10. Hondo
    Hondo 27 March, 2013, 08:12

    Why did some old lady have to drag the body in, while the scumbag firefighters were on the phone to their union bosses.
    And When the press asked their fire chief the next day what he would do if it was an 8 yo girl out there, he answered by saying he would have to consult the union.
    Those monster public union members would let an 8 yo girl drown while he phoned into the union bosses.
    Those union members are a disgrace to the human race.

    Reply this comment
  11. Queeg
    Queeg 27 March, 2013, 08:52

    Get a government job….be happy….wealthy….wise…

    Reply this comment
  12. Queeg
    Queeg 27 March, 2013, 08:53

    Look to government…..your miserable…

    Reply this comment
  13. Eldorado
    Eldorado 27 March, 2013, 09:42

    How about a ballot measure that limits salaries and retirement?

    Reply this comment
  14. SkippingDog
    SkippingDog 27 March, 2013, 19:22

    Nice cheap shot, Katy. The County Administrator may be overpaid, but she’s hardly a “secretary” as you claim. She holds the same top level executive management position as the CEO of Orange, Los Angeles, Sacramento and numerous other California counties.

    Don’t you bother to fact check any more?

    Reply this comment
  15. SkippingDog
    SkippingDog 27 March, 2013, 19:25

    Or CAO, depending on the county.

    Reply this comment
  16. CalWatchdog
    CalWatchdog Author 27 March, 2013, 19:40

    Not a cheap shot Skippingdog – just fact. A ‘secretary’ is a noble job, based on the definition: “An official of a society or other organization who conducts its correspondence and keeps its records.”

    However, keeping records, administering and implementing policy is hardly worthy of $423,000 or $a $10 million retirement.

    And no, she’s not the CEO. A CEO can’t run years of deficit spending ad keep his or her job… unless a government bailout is the plan.


    Reply this comment
  17. Richard Rider
    Richard Rider 27 March, 2013, 21:03

    My advice to all you complainers — get a government job! If you are like me and not predisposed to such “work,” do the next best thing — marry one. I did! A career teacher.

    Great pay, wonderful pension, and superb health care benefits even after retirement.

    Turns out that this starter wife is the love of my life. Who knew?!

    Reply this comment
  18. Richard Rider
    Richard Rider 27 March, 2013, 21:05

    Youse guys might want to check to see if this secretary is single and marriage-inclined. If her pension is like many such county pensions, the surviving spouse still gets the annual pension payout (or most of it) — plus health care.

    If I were this woman, I’d be VERY circumspect of that fact. She might have a honeymoon “accident.”

    Reply this comment
  19. SkippingDog
    SkippingDog 28 March, 2013, 08:51

    Except those noble secretarial duties are not what a County Administrator does, Katy. A County Administrator manages all of the county’s departments and resonsibities. You know that, so it’s surprising that you’d pretend otherwise just to stoke outrage over a false claim about “a (mere) secretary’s outrageous pension.”

    Reply this comment
  20. SkippingDog
    SkippingDog 29 March, 2013, 17:03

    Nice to see you here again, Dick Rider! As I recall from your numerous failed attempts to be elected to public office, you are a retired supply officer from the USN. It doesn’t get much more pogue than that, but I’m sure you think you “fully earned” your public pension by counting pallets of government pens and paper while you pined for a line star on your uniform.

    Now you also admit to being married to a retired public school teacher who provides you with additional health benefits and another government pension check every month, even as you try to hose the public employees who continue to serve.

    It’s always been clear that you’re an opportunist, but I’m sure none of your political supporters have ever seen what a level of hypocrisy you have achieved with your conflicting choices.

    Reply this comment
  21. Richard Rider
    Richard Rider 2 April, 2013, 08:58

    Oh Skippy. Cowardly, anonymous Skippy. There ya go again.

    My bio lists both facts. It’s readily available online (MY online), and I discuss them when I’m speaking. If “none of my political supporters” are aware of my background, it’s news to me (and them!).

    But thanks for denigrating military pensions. THAT will win you lots of friends. I wonder — how much do you think my military pension is? Come on — venture a guess.

    Reply this comment
  22. Richard Rider
    Richard Rider 22 April, 2013, 07:18

    The silence from Skipping Dog is deafening.

    Reply this comment

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