You betcha - and of the 14 full-timers, 13 collected more than $120,000 in total compensation (that includes benefits). As you might imagine, questions are being raised. From the OC Register's Orange Punch opinion blog:
Brent Jacobsen, president of the Lifeguard Management Association, defended the lifeguard pay in Newport Beach: "We have negotiated very fair and very reasonable salaries in conjunction with comparable positions and other cities up and down the coast."[CUT]
On face, the compensation packages for these guards are staggering. But take into consideration the retirement benefits being paid to currently retired lifeguards and lifeguards who will retire at these pay levels in the future and the problem is further compounded. Lifeguards are able to retire with 90 percent of their salary, after only 30 years of work at as early as the age of 50.
Obviously, not all Newport Beach city workers do nearly as well, but this is the sort of exception that people remember.