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Cops Feel Overtime Pinch Among Top 100 City Employee Wage Earners

April 17th, 2014 · 36 Comments · Analysis and Comment, City Budget

James Nardozzi

Assistant Chief James Nardozzi has reeled in police overtime.

City educators and police officers (with several of them now retired) once again led the list of the top 100 wage earners for 2013, but with a number of cops receiving sizable haircuts from 2012 courtesy of Assistant Chief James Nardozzi reducing overtime costs. Mayor Bill Finch placed 37th on the list with gross earnings $135,991.

Following a Freedom of Information request by OIB the City Attorney’s Office issued a list of top 100 wage earners that includes gross earnings, regular salary and other wages and payouts.

Departed Superintendent of Schools Paul Vallas was the top 2013 earner at $237,311, followed by Police Captain Aida Remele $221,804 (regular salary $54,746, retired mid year), Police Sergeant Juan Gonzalez $213,272 (regular salary $69,514 retired), Assistant Superintendent of High School Transformation John Curtis $189,043 (regular salary $112,470), Police Lieutenant William Bailey (retired) $187,433 (regular salary $68,005), School Principal Giovanna Denitto $172,889, Police Officer Alan Kohlbacker $156,299 (regular salary $35,281 retired mid year), Chief Financial Officer Marlene Siegel $153,600, Chief Academic Officer Amy Marshall $151,909, School Principal Sandra McLeod $150,524.

In 2012 Police Sergeant Jessica Tillson, $179,119, Police Lieutenant Lonnie Blackwell $178,607, School Principal James Adams $178,583, Police Captain James Viadero $178,415,  School Principal Audrey Skoda $174,741, Police Sergeant Michael Sample $172,753, Police Sergeant John Gale $169,192, Police Lieutenant Kevin Gilleran, $167,939 all placed in the top 10. What a difference a year makes for some of the police officers.

In 2012, two deputy police chiefs Anthony Armeno $155,382 and Adam Radzimirski $155,154 both finished in the top 20 among wage earners. Dozens of other patrol officers and detectives on the 2012 list received double their base salary in overtime. In 2013, Armeno received $146,400 (regular salary $103, 402), Radzimirski $138,829 (regular salary $104,861).

Nardozzi was brought in two years ago with a specific task to cut out-of-control overtime. And he apparently has done just that, reducing overtime costs by millions of dollars.

Some of the larger discrepancies among police officers between 2012 and 2013: Police Lieutenant Lonnie Blackwell $178,607 to $132,370 (regular salary $81,021) Police Captain James Viadero $178,415 to $146,205 (regular salary $90,457), Police Sergeant John Gale $169,192 to $141,902 (regular pay $66,890), Police Lieutenant Kevin Gilleran, $167,939 to $132,804 (regular salary $79,760).

In 2012, police officers occupied 20 of the top 25 spots. In 2013, 12 of the 25 top wage earners.

Police Chief Joe Gaudett placed number 23 with gross earnings $140,035 (regular salary $128,718). Assistant Fire Chief Manuel Firpi placed just outside the top 10 with gross earnings $148,981 (regular salary $78,817).

Parks Director Charles Carroll, who had also served during the year as director of Public Facilities, placed 17th on the list at $144,064

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36 Comments so far ↓

  • OlofsonD

    “Police Captain Aida Remele $221,804 (regular salary $54,746)”
    YOU’RE TELLING ME SHE MADE $167K IN OVERTIME?

    “Assistant Superintendent of High School Transformation John Curtis $189,043 (regular salary $112,470)”
    WHY IS HE ELIGIBLE FOR OVERTIME?

    • LennieGrimaldi

      Olofson, rather than call it overtime, the city refers to additional earnings on the list as “Other Wages & Payouts” so in some cases it could reflect perhaps some accumulated time and/or retirement package/outside overtime. Aida Remele retired as a captain mid year.

  • Wingnut

    Mayor Finch made $100k more than he is worth!

  • Andrew C Fardy

    Police Sergeant Joe Blow $169,192 to $141,902 (regular pay $66,890). This is a reduction of $28K but this sgt still managed to double his base pay. How did he do that? Looking at the retirement side under the new pension agreement worked out with this administration, Sgt. Joe Blow could retire at $68,000 a year. To be fair the PD can retire with their three best earning years.
    Why do Deputy Chiefs get overtime? The city had better rescind the ordinance that requires cops at roadway construction sites. That is the largest source of patrol officer OT. Why this is added into the retirement package is unreal.

    • Phil Smith

      Andy,
      I don’t think the problem is an ordinance. The last time I checked both the police coverage of roadwork and the rate the city charges were written into the police union contract.

      • Andrew C Fardy

        Phil, I just read through the last police contract and there is no mention of working road construction sites. The contract talks about hiring procedures and payment but nothing else. They are working construction sites because of a city ordinance. This ordinance is costing the city a lot of dollars.

    • Eric Alicea

      The company that hires the cops pays for the cop to be there, plus an administrative fee. The fact road jobs are included in retirement benefits is asinine. However, you can’t fault an officer for following the contract management agreed to. This has always been a fatal flaw in pension band payouts. But politicians won’t touch it.

      • Andrew C Fardy

        I don’t fault the officer at all, in fact I would be working all the OT I could if I were on that job. The contract was negotiated by idiots on the city side. The police union kicked their asses.

  • Local Eyes

    Aha! Mayor Finch recruited Mr. Nardozzi to reduce taxpayer costs. That’s a money-saving idea that shows leadership while reducing–without eliminating–overtime costs. A few million dollars helps the budget.
    In a related comment, adding lasting value is more important than salary and you need not be a resident to do it.

  • Ron Mackey

    “Other Wages & Payouts” are NOT all paid by taxes, outside companies that use the police pay that cost.

    • John Marshall Lee

      There is a revenue component and expense component for Outside Pay. In this case, public-safety officers are tasked with traffic direction duty around road or utility construction sites and the like. (This is different from Overtime payout of any description described in the Monthly Financial Report.)
      Outside Pay REVENUES for Police were budgeted for 2014 at $4.9 Million. Through February 2014 $2.8 Million have been received a little more than 50% FOR EIGHT MONTHS.
      The budget plan anticipated $3.3 Million would be paid in direct compensation of officers for Outside Pay duties. $2.7 Million was expended in direct pay through eight months. So revenues are coming in at 55% while expenses are at 80% through 8 months.
      Perhaps Deputy Chief Nardozzi should take this other category under his supervision. Outside Pay counts towards pension benefits we have been told. There is an expense and/or a liability for funding pension benefits in addition to regular pay for Outside Pay duty waving a flag at cars and monitoring your cell phone. If revenues lag expenses for work then the taxpayer is effectively subsidizing private contractors.
      Once again it needs to be established and communicated contractors are paying all costs for this Outside Pay duty. Are they? Time will tell.

      • Bob Walsh

        John,
        I would expect the revenue to lag behind the expenses for something like this. Do you really expect outside companies to prepay for these services?

        • John Marshall Lee

          Bob,
          I have written on this subject before without your helpful comment. Were you to consult the CAFR and Monthly reports you might find there has been a 10% variance. That bears out your observation.
          However, I indicated a more significant differential, as you can well calculate. What is the reason for it? The February report shows results from July 1, 2013 and includes lots of months with terrible weather and less OUTSIDE PAY duty. So why are we so far behind?

          I have also asked whether the charges we make to the firms for the service of public safety officers fully cover all retirement liabilities of the City. Do you know the answer to that in line with the Police Pension Plan B transferring responsibility to MERF CT? Will three years of service that includes lots of overtime, perhaps through OT, that will double retirement income for an officer, result in a greater City liability for pensions?

          Perhaps shutting down the Ordinance by the City Council would help. Perhaps it would create new job opportunities for City residents who, with some training, can adequately hold a STOP sign and assist passing traffic. And maybe the City might ask for and receive a prepayment. After all, you do the same thing when you go to a movie or a sports event, don’t you? And you pay in advance whether you are pleased with the performance or not, don’t you?

          Bob, still waiting for your call when you have a moment. 203-259-9642. What light can you shed on process in City for transferring budget funds by Finance or OPM and when City Council must be advised? Have there been changes since you were on the Council? Time will tell.

    • BOE SPY

      Ron, that may or may not be true. If the city puts out a bid to fix a sewer pipe or pave a road and the company has to hire a cop to direct traffic, that cost is built into the bid. I.e. the city pays the company, the company pays the cop. Drop the word ‘company’ out of the sentences and connect the two and you get the city pays the cop.
      For other road work, who digs up the roads? The electric company, water Company, sewer company; some of these companies are not technically the city but where do they get the money to pay the cop? Ratepayers, taxpayers, homeowners; when push comes to shove, you are still paying that cop.

  • park city fan

    Correct me if I’m wrong but don’t Chief Gaudett (BPD) and Chief Rooney (BFD) currently collect a pension and salary from the city? Seems to me their earnings are being somewhat underreported. JML … what do you make of this?

    • LennieGrimaldi

      Chief Gaudett’s pension was included in his overall compensation for 2012, but not listed for 2013. To those wondering, he’s technically a contract employee of the city in the first of a five-year appointment by the mayor per the City Charter. The charter would allow one more five-year appointment at the discretion of the mayor

    • BOE SPY

      That ire with city policy is a bit off. Let’s assume whoever it is does a fair job. They are going to collect that pension if they work for the city or not and that money does not come from the city budget. By rights that money SHOULD be in an account somewhere waiting to get paid out. That is not the case but that is what was supposed to happen. Then, someone was going to be to be chief of police regardless of if Chief Gaudett was. If Chief Gaudett wasn’t doing it someone else would. IF Chief Gaudett is being paid less post retirement (excluding pension) than he was pre-retirement, that is cheaper for the city. All this assumes he is doing a fair job. In addition to being paid less, he doesn’t get health insurance and he does not get a second pension. A new chief would get these benefits at a cost to the city.

  • Bob Walsh

    So what do you have to say to THAT, Andy Fardy??? Eh???

  • Andrew C Fardy

    I say what I have always said about it, it’s wrong. I have not had a chance to read the charter but I do believe Gaudett and Rooney’s pensions are not mentioned in the charter. I agree their five-year contracts and renewals are mentioned in the contract. There was a civil service rule that disallowed double dipping. If you had a pension from the city it was subtracted from your second salary. Great example, retired Sgt. Gene O’Neil was never hired full-time by the school security he was a consultant. What else do you want me to say. You were on the council when this shit started, how did you vote?

  • Bob Walsh

    What about your boy Rooney???
    He retired, rehired, double-dipping AND I believe it is a disability pension under heart and hypertension so he is getting full medical care of the city taxpayers AND still working for the city. So THERE!!!
    I fought this when your boy Joe Savino was riding around in his Harbor Patrol boat and collecting a disability pension and Mark Anastasi told the council they couldn’t prevent this due to the Americans With Disabilities Act. Back then I believe you and Mark served on the 138th Town Committee together.
    The circle gets closer now.

    • Andrew C Fardy

      You know Walsh, you really are a bona fide asshole. Rooney is not my boy and the same goes for him that goes for Gaudett. You little shit, you should not be allowed to even say Rooney’s name until you put yourself in the danger he and every firefighter faces. Let me see you tell Joe Savino he is my boy, try it once. As usual you have your information wrong. Mark Anastasi was never on the town committee. It was his son.
      Now for you, how does it feel to know the years you spent on the council were a waste? You did nothing, accomplished nothing and proposed nothing so in other words you are freaking nothing. Bob, I got your circle hanging.

  • park city fan

    Give ‘em hell, Troll!

  • park city fan

    Andy–You’ve got some set of balls on you. Have you looked in the mirror lately? Where do you, of all people, get off calling anyone a little shit? You’re a sawed-off little shit yourself.
    Please spare us all the BFD war stories. Word is you weren’t that good a firefighter before you hid behind a desk. If you’re so concerned about closing the budget gap and cutting costs perhaps you should consider giving up any and all raises you’re in line to receive when the fire contract is settled. Care to put your money where your mouth is?

    • Andrew C Fardy

      I have never told a firefighter war story, I leave that to people like you who have talked the talk but not walked the walk. As far as being good or not all I can say is if I did not carry my weight I would not have spent 14 years on squad 5. Those 14 years were when the FD was busy. Yeah, the arson squad stayed behind a desk, getting desperate here are we?
      The one war story I will tell is this. If I were still on the job I would let you carry my helmet to a fire. Maybe!!!
      BTW I haven’t received any raises based on what the union has negotiated. I put my money where my mouth is by paying city taxes. What town do you live in?

  • park city fan

    Bob Walsh is responsible for, among other things, passing a city ordinance that grants a property tax exemption to surviving spouses of police and fire dept. members who are killed in the line of duty. As a former firefighter, you should know this. Shame on you. Once again Fardy, long on opinion and SHORT (pun intended) on facts.

  • Bob Walsh

    Thank you, park city. I’m a fan of yours.
    And don’t forget the firehouse closures ordinance. Although this was aimed at requiring public hearings if the city should decide to close firehouses in the future, some wise members of the BFD suggested I put in language that included temporary closing also in case the city tried to get tricky.
    Because of that, we were able to force the city to reopen 7-11 when they shut it down during repair work. Most of the Black Rock section of the city was outside of the chief’s own maximum response time until this was reopened.
    But I don’t know shit about the Fire Department per Andy even though he knows my father put in 20 years on the force.

  • Andrew C Fardy

    Hey Bob, your recent post only mentioned Rooney. I never said you knew nothing about the FD. You know a little and yes I worked with your dad at 3′s. He was a good man and a great firefighter. That still doesn’t make what I said wrong. BTW just so you know, engine 3 and engine 4 were within the distance allowed by NFPA National Fire Protection Association. If Rooney did get a disability pension from the city he did not gain any extra money from the city. When Rooney retired he was at maximum percentage allowed. BTW Rooney, as you put it, is not my boy. He worked under me as a firefighter, squad driver and then was a lieutenant on the squad. He paid his dues the hard way. Rooney was never any one’s boy, as you put it.

  • park city fan

    Andy–We both know you were only there for 14 years because Moran took care of you. I also recall guys putting a step stool next to the rig so you could get in without having to struggle.
    As far as Rooney paying his dues, let’s just say there is a reason he was called Wheatlight.
    I guess it’s true when they say “the older you get, the better you were.”

  • Andrew C Fardy

    Don’t you wish that were true, just so you know or think you know, rookie, I worked mostly for Chief Schmedlin and not for Moran while I was on the squad. Just so you know and whoever is feeding you the wrong information, it wasn’t a step stool, it was a ladder put there by then LT Joe DiCarlo who was my boss. Rookie, you know some things but mostly you are guessing or asking someone you know who’s off the job.
    Listen, Rooney fought more fires than you will ever see.
    I have a couple of things for you to digest. There was no I in the squad, we were a team and operated as a team. Were we good? Bet your ass we were good. Were we better than the other guys on the job? No!! Did we have balls? Yes we did. I can’t say the same for you because you hide behind a make-believe name. I guess you are afraid if I knew you I would out you for the outside firefighter you seem to be. I am done with you, have a nice holiday.

  • park city fan

    You too, little fella.

  • Andrew C Fardy

    Just remember, dynamite comes in small packages. Still don’t have the guts to identify yourself? That makes you a member of the NBA.

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