Providence - Top 25 Highest Paid City Workers
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
The salary data includes base pay, overtime, police details, and severance. It does not include benefits.
The highest paid employee was Police Chief Dean Esserman, who took home $194,715—well above what his counterpart at the Fire Department, Chief George Farrell made, which was $161,034. Esserman also made more than his boss at the time, Mayor David Cicilline, who earned a total of $136,427, which put him in the 14th spot.
The second highest earner was Pamela Marchand, Chief Engineer and General Manager for the Water Supply Board, at $179,884.
Providence City Councilman John Igliozzi told GoLocalProv that he did not have an issue with how much the top 25 were being paid. Instead, he said he questioned whether the people making those high salaries really deserve them.
Most of top 25 are police and fire
More than half of the top 25 were police—14 to be exact—while eight were firefighters. The bulk of the police officers and firefighters on the list had lower base pay, but were catapulted into the top 25 thanks to high overtime payments. (See below for full list.)
For example, fire Battalion Chief Alan Horton had a base salary of $85,536, but made $68,509 in overtime and callback pay. Likewise, police Lt. Daniel Gannon $77,780 earned in base pay, plus another $40,314 in overtime.
The data provided by the city does include police detail payments. Joe Rodio, the chief legal counsel for the police union, said it should not be included. Rodio said detail payments largely come from private funds, not taxpayer dollars and therefore should not be part of the calculation of total pay. However, some police details are paid by the city—and the salary data did not break down how much of the detail pay was private and how much was public.
Two of the officers on the list actually earned slightly more in detail pay than they did in base pay. Officer Michael Mangan earned $58,833 in base pay and $58,938 in police details. Officer Francisco Furtado had a base pay of $53,976 and detail payments totaling $55,202.
Retroactive pay raises helped propel some firefighters into the top 25 as well. Fire Capt. Vincent D’Ambra, for example, received $15,223 in retroactive raises, but it was his overtime pay of approximately $77,000 that pushed him into the top 25.
Likewise, Capt. Kevin Gomes had $14,574 in retroactive raises, but he had much more in overtime, $55,747. Those two payments combined exceeded his base pay of $64,513. In all, his total pay was approximately $135,000.
Councilman: We can't afford Esserman anymore
Igliozzi questioned Esserman’s record as chief, saying he was “part and parcel” of the previous administration, which Igliozzi blamed for passing on a $110 million deficit to the new mayor.
“The cost of keeping this guy employed is way too much than what we got back. … I don’t think the city can afford his salary anymore,” Igliozzi said. “He should probably do the honorable thing and find new employment.”
Esserman declined to comment for this report.
Rodio, meanwhile, didn’t necessarily object to Esserman’s pay. “I don’t have a problem with Esserman getting paid more—as long as the police officers get paid more,” he said.
Firefighter union president: Chief’s salary is ‘obscene’
The spokesman for the city firefighters’ union, on the other hand, said he is outraged at how much the top brass in his department are earning. He noted that of the eight firefighters in the top 25, six are non-union employees.
“Chief Farrell’s salary is obscene,” union President Paul Doughty said. “In the past two years, he received a 35 percent raise, while firefighters who are performing the work were asked to give concessions.”
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