LOS ANGELES -- California State Controller John Chiang updated his government employee compensation website with on Dec. 16 with the latest pay data for state city and county employees.

This update covers calendar year 2012, the fourth full year of data for such employees available on the site. It added wage and benefit data for 637,435 positions, with more than $38.9 billion in wages paid for the year.

Only the cities of San Mateo, Compton, and Calimesa failed to file reports for the update. All counties filed their reports on time.

"Making compensation of public employees transparent provides taxpayers with the ability to be more informed and active in local government decisions," Chiang said in a statement. "I'm especially encouraged with the cooperation that cities and counties have provided in helping us make all government more accountable to Californians."

The highest paid city positions for the year included Buena Park's city manager at $545,394, South Gate's police sergeant at $486,044, and Pleasant Hill's city attorney at $465,209.

The top county positions were each from Kern County, including its orthopedic surgeon on contract at $1 million, its faculty physician on contract at $828,287, and its chairman for the department of surgery at $753,465.

The website offers maps, search functions, and custom report-building tools and allows users to download raw data for their own research.

The site launched in 2010. In 2012 the controller completed an overhaul of the website, adding the additional search, browse, and mapping functions.

Chiang said special district information will be updated in the spring, and data from the University of California is expected later in the year.

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