The article “Bringing home the bacon: Breakdown of highest-paid city employees,” Sept. 14-15, was interesting on many levels. The size of the salaries for certain jobs [and] the staffing of certain departments [are some of] the many questions it raised for me.
One: Our city is able to pay salaries of over $240,000 a year to more than 20 people. Wow!
Two: This information was published on Sept. 14 and yet no letters have been published about it? Are our citizens that apathetic and don’t care? I don’t think so. Or is a salary of a quarter of a million dollars a year normal? Don’t think so again.
Three: Second and third on the list [of] the top salaries are our city attorney and assistant city attorney at $294,000 and $295,000. Plus four deputy attorneys are paid over $244,000. … They do not have any expenses as private attorneys do, do not have to worry about losing a client, etc. Another big wow. How many attorneys does our city have and what are the total legal costs just for all of them, never mind the staff and hiring outside attorneys?
Quick comparison: Attorney general of the U.S. salary is $199,700.
Four: Police department. There are three sergeants and an officer who all make over $240,000, as well as the chief of police and the deputy chief. The article goes on to say that those officers, sergeant and lower have overtime included in their amounts. Overtime for just the police department is $6.5 million a year. What percentage of total salary costs for the police department is this overtime is just one question that comes to mind. Perhaps there is a management problem in the staffing area.
Five: Fire department. There are five individuals from that department on the list, all of whom are at the management level.
I hope that this article is the beginning of a series on the costs of different departments in our city with some in-depth looks at comparisons to other cities. Or, it may be that I am a minority of one raising these questions.