How much does the city of Caldwell pay its workers? Search our employee database

Caldwell’s population has doubled since 2000. And it’ll just keep growing.

The city of Caldwell, a Boise suburb, has doubled in population size since 2000. The Canyon County city is expected to grow to 115,581 by 2040.
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The city of Caldwell, a Boise suburb, has doubled in population size since 2000. The Canyon County city is expected to grow to 115,581 by 2040.

Caldwell city government employees are paid an average of $20.68 an hour.

Fire Chief Mark Wendelsdorf makes $54.13 an hour — about $113,000 a year — as the highest-paid full-time employee. Wendelsdorf in 2012 made headlines for deciding to keep his job despite winning the lottery, because he liked his coworkers too much to leave.

Lottery winners Mark and Kim Wendelsdorf in 2012 Provided by the Idaho Lottery

“The windfall has naturally helped the couple, who have three grown children and are raising their 3-year-old granddaughter,” the Idaho Statesman reported in 2012.

“We’ve just got a really great group of people who work for Caldwell. They’re great friends and I’d really miss it. I’m planning on staying on,” the fire chief said, according to the Statesman report.

[Related: Ada County salaries, Canyon County salaries, Nampa salaries, Boise salaries, Meridian salaries, Garden City salaries, Eagle salaries]

It’s hard to say who’s lowest paid on Caldwell’s payroll, because a number of workers — such as city councilmembers — aren’t paid a traditional hourly wage or salary. But public records show that many part-time workers make $8 or $10 an hour.

See the hourly pay rate for almost 300 jobs in Caldwell city government, as of March 11:

City of Caldwell salary database

(Hint: To see all employees, leave the search fields empty and just hit the “Search” button.)

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Why did we make this public?

Public employees work for taxpayers. Their salaries and wages are public information.

Idaho state employee pay has been publicly available on various websites, including the Idaho Statesman’s, for years. But until now, there wasn’t an easy way to see what Treasure Valley’s local governments pay their employees.

We believe there is value in opening the curtains to show how governments spend taxpayer money. Not only can that sunshine help prevent and catch fraud, waste and abuse; it lets us see how wages differ between, and within, the many offices of our local governments.

Have an idea for another database? Think we should make more information public? Contact watchdog and data journalist Audrey Dutton at or (208) 377-6448.

How did we get the data?

We requested payroll data from local governments in March 2019. All eight governments — Ada County, Canyon County and the cities of Boise, Caldwell, Eagle, Garden City, Meridian and Nampa — emailed us the records in a timely fashion.

We reached out to human resources and public information officers. They helped us figure out how to make the information as clear and consistent as possible. But some quirks survived. For example, you’ll find employees of Eagle, Kuna and Star police departments in Ada County’s payroll database. That’s because the Ada County Sheriff’s Office has special contracts with those police departments.

What's the fine print?

First, this is a snapshot in time. Employees are hired, fired, promoted and given raises every day.

Second, employees aren’t all paid the same way. For the most part, you can figure out an employee’s annual pay by multiplying their hourly rate by 2,080. But that’s not always true. Some employees are part-time. Some, like council members, are paid a set amount. Others work more hours than normal and/or get overtime — emergency first responders especially — so their annual pay may be higher than their hourly rate would suggest.

Finally, the “hire date” isn’t necessarily the date that person first joined the ranks of public servants. Some employees are seasonal, temporary or took other jobs between stints working for the city or county.

The Idaho Statesman obtained the payroll data from the city of Caldwell through a public records request.

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