A list of top local authority earners reveals the chief exective of Gateshead Council,
Roger Kelly, retired with almost £400,000 last year.
Durham County Council has also been highlighted in the Town Hall Rich List, as having more than 20 executives earning £100,000 a year or more.
Councils have criticised the way the list has been compiled.
Gateshead Council says the figure included Mr Kelly's pension payout accrued over 25 years and that its senior management costs are actually coming down. But the Taxpayers' Alliance though insists the figure is still too much.
More top news
On a tour of the North East today, the Chancellor George Osborne made a series of promises which he claimed would help create 50,000 jobs.
Hundreds of people are expected to take part in two separate demonstrations in Newcastle tomorrow.
Teesside car parts manufacturer Nifco has announced a new £50 million deal with US car giant Ford.