WatchSonoma Watch

Santa Rosa City Attorney agrees to flat contract

Caroline Fowler


The Santa Rosa City Council on Tuesday approved a new contract for City Attorney Caroline Fowler on Tuesday night that increases her base salary by nearly 10 percent but reduces her pay by the same amount in other ways.

Fowler is the second-highest-paid official in the city after City Manager Kathy Millison.

Her new contract calls for her to make a base salary of $185,250 per year, nearly 10 percent more than her previous contract of $167,520.

The council signed off the contract changes Tuesday night, a week after widely praising Fowler for her work ethic, patience and compassion during a tumultuous year.

Fowler, 52, took over as city attorney in 2008. At that time, her contract called for her to receive a 5 percent salary bump if the council felt she was meeting their expectations. She was, but because of the budget crunch, Fowler deferred that raise.

Now she’s getting it, but it’s being offset by her agreement to take a furlough like other members of the city’s executive staff. The 96 hours of unpaid time off amounts to 4.6 percent decrease in salary.

Similarly, Fowler is receiving another 5 percent salary increase to offset a change in her retirement benefits that requires her to pay 5 percent of her salary toward her retirement. Previously the city had been paying Fowler’s contribution to CalPERS.

4 Responses to “Santa Rosa City Attorney agrees to flat contract”

  1. Graeme Wellington says:

    She’s furiously working on a plan to convert Santa Rosa’s police department and fire department to a combined public safety department to save money. Obviously they are going to need some serious lawyering to pull it off. Where is the Press Democrat on this story? Clueless as usual.

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  2. Lyn Cramer says:


    “Council the council’s ear for political reality get tinnier than this?”

    Read: Could the council’s ear for political reality get tinnier than this?

    Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  3. Lyn Cramer says:

    The word that comes to mind in reading this story is: disgraceful.

    So, it’s finally time for a well-paid city employee to pay a modest portion of their pension (5%). Solution: give them a 5% raise! And city leaders wonder why a large portion of the public is cynical about government.

    Council the council’s ear for political reality get tinnier than this?

    Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  4. Joe Moderatz says:

    That’s the way to balance the budget!
    Cut bennies and increase salaries to offset the cut in bennies!

    This is the math of our leaders!

    What a joke! And the city council has the guts to ask to be reelected?

    Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

Leave a Reply