Published: 12 December 2011 08:54 PM

Riverside City Manager Scott Barber will cost taxpayers less than his predecessor, Brad Hudson, but Barber likely remains among the best-compensated city executives in the state.

Barber’s proposed total annual compensation of $410,492 would be nearly $69,000 less than the $479,480 Hudson was making when he left in August to become Sacramento County’s chief executive. That’s because Barber won’t get the same perks.

According to recent data from state Controller John Chiang’s office and two surveys done last year by a state legislative committee and a city advocacy group, Hudson’s and Barber’s earnings both appear to be in the top tier of city manager pay. Riverside is the state’s 12th largest city.

Barber, 52, was the city’s community development director for six years before becoming city manager.

Barber’s base salary will be the same as Hudson’s $280,500 but Hudson also received a 5 percent differential for serving as head of the city’s redevelopment agency, which boosted his salary to $294,525.

Council members, who will vote on the pay package today, said Barber’s salary and benefits are appropriate. But even if they considered the salary too high, they’re bound by an annual salary resolution to pay management employees about 10 percent more than the highest-paid worker they oversee. In this case, that’s the public utilities general manager, whose annual salary is $255,708.

“I think when you look at the requirements we’ve set up, we’ve received the best possible price for the structure we have in place,” Councilman Andy Melendrez said. “I believe everybody at this point is appropriately paid for the amount of responsibility that each one is carrying.”

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