A few weeks ago OIB published a list of the top 100 municipal wage earners historically dominated by Board of Education employees, as well as uniformed services led by police officers via paid overtime. Mayor Joe Ganim’s salary, by comparison, doesn’t even sniff the top, the way it’s been for decades for the city’s chief executive.
Every now and then we ask for the salaries of the mayor’s discretionary employees. The city, after a month of negotiations to receive the requested information, provided more than what we asked so we cherry-picked at-will employees among the list at $90k and above. May have missed a few but see example below.
The City Council approves salary ranges of unaffiliated employees including those who work at the pleasure of the mayor who has authority to set salaries within those paramiters. See the current list that should be updated soon 2019citysalarygrid.
It’s always fascinating to hear from readers about that so-called bloated payroll when, in fact, the mayor’s discretionary appointees combine for perhaps $4 million out of a more than $500 million city budget. If you measure the current salaries of Ganim’s at-will employees most of them are not near the top of the salary range.
See the full range of unaffiliated employees, many of them eking a living, Unaffiliated_Employees_2020-02-07_List.
Now, parenthetically, for the cynics who assert all these people below are earning in relation to what they can deliver on election day, I will list those who have a vote following and those who do not. Many pols on the payroll who can deliver votes earn less than the list below, many of whom have a governmental skill set. Just because many below live in Bridgeport doesn’t mean they have a vote base.
Ed Adams, mayoral aide, $95,509 (no votes)
Eric Amado, director labor relations, $131,706 (votes)
Tom Coble, project manager, Public Facilities, $90,549 (some votes)
Ken Flatto, finance director, 131,706 (no votes)
Herron Gaston, assistant chief administrative officer, $135,362 (clergy votes)
Tom Gaudett, mayoral aide, $90,549 (a worker but no core votes)
Fred Gee, minority business office, $90,549 (clergy votes)
Tom Gill, economic development director, $131,706 (no votes)
John Gomes, assistant chief administrative officer, $135,362 (votes)
Janene Hawkins, chief administrative officer, $144,721 (no votes)
R. Christopher Meyer, city attorney, $143,826 (no votes)
Nestor Nkwo, budget director, $131,706 (no votes)
Danny Roach, director construction services, $126,815 (votes)
Dan Shamas, mayoral chief of staff, $137,721 (no votes)
Rowena White, communications director, $106,121 (no votes)
So there ya go, most mayoral appointees earning $90K above have no votes.
Every year they post the salaries of the top city earners. Every year there are the same comments about it. What good does it do to release this information?
Does anyone care what the reporter who wrote the story made last year?
String, most taxpayers want to know where their money is being spent. Don’t you?
Lenny is correct. For those paying property taxes, especially of increased taxes with lowered real estate values, there is genuine curiosity about where tax dollars are spent. Once you get past the raw number people often begin asking what is the value of the nature of the work to be performed. Noting that salary is salary on the lists above, but total compensation as shown on the TOP 100 Listing each year adds other parts of the compensation results per agreements, but not necessarily the expense of funding pension benefits and Other Post Employment Benefits (OPEB), a current expense when a City bothers to address that subject at any level.
Are all the employees engaged in work doing productive work? (Now that is a different question, isn’t it, and likely a better one, though difficult to evaluate depending on the level of OPEN, ACCOUNTABLE and TRANSPARENT information available to the public without FOI.) Or are some doing tasks that may have been valuable at one time but the value of a dollar today and the increased expenses of administration might lead to another way of handling certain processes today? I think it is likely and shall address that with an article shortly as we all begin to look at budget figures for 2020-21. If we were to find that a number of activities performed by City employees, paid for by City taxpayers, cost more to process by large percentages than the return to the City, might we rationally change our ways? Time will tell.
just a quick insight specifically to the overtime pension you speak of. The Pension for police officers is primarily funded by the officers themselves. Well in 2019 alone the police department earned the city a profit of approximately $3 million through construction jobs etc. Officers only get a small portion of that, while the city gets the majority for its general fund. So in essence, the way its designed, is for the cops to fund their pension through contractors primarily not, through their salary. That is why you see those inflated salaries, its because they spend no time at home and work as much as they can to fund their pension. Now, what the state does with that pension money is a whole different story, from what I know working with pension personnel in Hartford in the past, their pension is very healthy. The reason being, the money is actually held by the city before it goes to hartford. That way the state can’t touch their pension until they actually go into retirement.
If you ask for accountability, well it doesn’t help that the top cop is appointed by the mayor. Not for nothing, I would be worried about bringing in my own ideas about reducing crime if it were something the mayor or “council” didn’t agree with because they appoint you. It tough to do your job when you have “civilians” trying to tell you how to patrol the city, non of which have any experience nor education in the field. This is why NYPD has the best example of a proper structure. The Mayor cannot fire any member of the police department including the police commissioner and its chiefs, that is responsibility of the governor. Just because I have different views and probably better strategies than non experienced politicians, I shouldn’t have to worry about losing my job. So as long as your police department answers to civilian based politicians, productivity will remain low for this reason.
Jo, It is good to know that some folks reading are encouraged to share what they “know” when a subject comes up with which they have some familiarity.
May I quote you, “The Pension for police officers is primarily funded by the officers themselves. Well in 2019 alone the police department earned the city a profit of approximately $3 million through construction jobs etc. Officers only get a small portion of that, while the city gets the majority for its general fund.”
When Police Department officers are paid for watching street construction happen, which is what I believe you reference, it is coded as “external overtime” and paid currently to the officers at 1.5 X rate or greater than regular duty time. The City invoices bring in revenue to cover this expense paid out to the officers as overtime, plus a little bit more for administration of the system. But that is not a profit, nor does it go into the general fund, for most of it cycles out as overtime payments currently.
The larger issue was the movement from Plan B to the State MERS plan. It changed the retirement formula to include historical overtime earnings included in a retirees highest three years of earning to generate retirement income much in excess for those who performed overtime, either external or internal during their working years. The City Council approved the transfer of funds, but at that time did nothing to generate revenue to cover the MERS increased pension benefits.
This act of executive and legislator in 2014-15 was done so secretly and behind the scenes that no one still understands the narrative and the reason the City has had to borrow more money since then, and pay increased pension funding as well as bond repayments that effectively squeezes out more appropriate educational funding. Can you believe that? What makes you think that the public safety officers are working to profit the City with their “external overtime” efforts? Time will tell.
That is quite incorrect. They are there at request of contractors especially after the Burns construction worker was gunned down on a job site. That suspect was apprehended shortly thereafter. Not only that, the increase of work risk for contractors is increased in the city thus having an officer on scene they can dispatch medics faster than simply dialing 911. Also if you ask, contractors would they feel safer with flaggers in Bridgeport, they all say no. Flaggers can’t get people to stop in Monroe or Orange. Yet you think people in Bridgeport who run stop signs and red lights on a norm will listen to a civilian flaggers. Cops pay for their own pension. They are demonized, they medical plans are horrible, some are paying $1000 a month for health insurance for their families of three. Their pension is all they have left, and even with the pension they’re leaving for other departments. Careful what you wish for, pretty soon help is going to be coming from troop G who is 20 minutes away on a highway and not Bridgeport Officer. Why would anyone work in Bridgeport as a police officer with the worst incentives. Bridgeport responded to the most gunshot calls in the entire state yet have the worst benefits and one of the lowest salaries.
Oh and those that make 100k a year as patrolman, who 6-7 days a week. So yeah it’s a trade off from being with family and friends to provide for the cost of living in CT, along with being burnt out afterwards. But hey what do I know. And yes that 3 million dollar profit goes to the general fun. Yes they generate a profit.
1) My information indicates that by City Council legislation over 40 years ago a statute identifying Bridgeport Police officers as the only parties authorized to perform the patrol function at street construction sites. To my knowledge this was not called the Burns statute. Accepting overtime hours beginning at 1.5 the rate of base pay for regular police duties is contractual between the City and the Police union.
2) Union contracts change from time to time and contributions to retirement plans, medical plans, and eligibility for other benefits likewise change but I maintain that the expense of funding most of the retirement benefits enjoyed under Police Plan B and/or MERS subsequently are paid by the taxpayers of Bridgeport and not by the officers themselves although they may have an automatic % contribution required currently.
3) You reference a Burns Construction worker who was gunned down. I do not recall this story. Can you provide a reference to a news story with a date and details, please?
4) If the basic police officer work week is less than 40 hours, perhaps 37 hours or so, at which time eligibility for overtime payments begin unless the info I have been provided is wrong. With OT at 1.5 at a minimum serving about 60 hours seems to double earnings. No one should wish “burnt out” employees especially with guns on duty. However it is the way the system works and many folks without City benefits work a 60 hour week for years at a time by combining several jobs to pay their way.
Maybe, the PD needs to report the “manpower” each month so that we can see how severely impactful is routine overtime. External overtime is so called because as a category of activity, the Police Union has negotiated it in this way. Thank you for raising a contrasting set of facts and opinions. Readers can choose to do their own fact checking and reporting to OIB. Time will tell.
I attached the article for the gunned down construction worker. Also it appears that it would cheaper to pay for overtime than to fund more hires. Over time is a set rate, compared to hiring more officers to where you now have to pay for their medical/family medical, pension , contribution to deferred compensation, workers compensation, etc.
Lennie, having no votes is one thing but seeing that they all are being paid with taxpayers dollars how much has each donated to Joe Ganim’s campaign for mayor and governor?
1. The rule of thumb is that political appointees generally are expected to contribute to the campaigns of their political ”appointer”. That goes for 50 states and all the campaigns therein related.
2. Also of note, when an individual cannot vote for their “appointer”, there is then an expectation of assisting in fund-raising for the campaign. That goes for 50 states and all the campaigns therein related.
3. The relationship between salary and productivity is answerable as easy as it is to explain the mystery of the Holy Trinity.
Thanks, that’s why I asked Lennie so that everything is open, I know a number of people who are appointed willmake their donation in their wife or adult members of their family.
Perhaps a contribution even in the name of a 14th cousin, but still the appointee is expected to make their own name as well.
I hope that’s clearly understood.
You cleared it up like the Holy Trinity. It’s to see if we can simplify it thought.
1 & 2 are basically the same. They contribute because if their appointers lose they are out of a job. If they don’t contribute to their appointer’s reelection win and their appointer wins they will see their lack of support as an effort to see them lose.
3. The productivity is base on being able to be and the votes, as well as one character and work ethics, among other driving factors. But maybe it is not that simple like the Holy Trinity. or how well the sides are getting alone, considering even if you can vote you still might be shown to the funding table or the door. In the end, We think we know, but we do not, cause and effect.
As far as making you name it not as much you think it is if your appointer loses just as Rosario. Maybe the architect of the Holy Trinity is one of the same who is the architect of political appointees.
At any rate. Name of the Fater, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Free Maria, Lennie. Don’t try to silence her. BBBB BAM 🙂
Dame, I need to proofread the shit before I send it out. 🙂
Let’s see if we can simplify.
The productivity is base on being able to bring in the votes or contributions.
as well as one’s character.
and it’s how well the sides get alone.
As far as making a name it’s not as much as you think.
Maybe the architect of the Holy Trinity is the same one who is the architect of political appointees.
Free Maria. 🙂 BAM I’m out.
I don’t usually click on links that are posted here (or anywhere) BUT man RT thus one from you about family guy and Bridgeport is absolutely hilarious.
And yes free Maria.
Lennie you are a “journalist” right? Don’t run this like PRAVDA! Translation: all the news that’s fit to print-BUT- not what certain people don’t want others to see.
Next item of interest: the police departments youth bureau! The chief blames problems due to previous administrations. Really! He had plenty of time to straighten it out however he was either not capable of doing so , Or did not have anybody in place that he considered capable. This story is a big deal. I can envision more lawsuits costing Bridgeport taxpayers yet more money. This story is absolutely disgraceful and as a Former cop, unbelievable. This is the continuing saga of putting a friend in a position that clearly cannot do the job.
More to come……
Wow city has money
Wouldn’t you say this is a bit arbitrary rating system you’ve got Lennie?
Christopher Myers No Votes? You totally ignore Johnas and Betsy? Doesn’t have a constituency in the Black Rock?
And the list goes on unless you cleared all of these with the Ganim camp.
No, Troll, I don’t clear this stuff with Joe. Chris didn’t become city attorney because of a vote base. Now, let’s say Marilyn Moore had won the mayoralty and offered you a job as CAO or finance director, or something of that ilk. You think she’d offer the job because of all the votes you bring from the West Side? You have very few votes left in the city from your perch in Branford. You show up, you put the work in as a campaign supporter, but you have few votes. You possess a skill set, Chris Meyer has a skill set. Your former City Council partner has way more votes than you.
And let’s face it. You don’t have the best of the rest below $90,000.
I went last year to get something from the Town Clerk’s office. They asked me for the volume and page. I didn’t know. They sent me to the Tax Assessor. A very nice lady looked it up on the computer, gave me the information and sent me right back to the Town Clerk.
This is just one small example but I am sure there are a hundred more. All the infos in the computer it just isn’t available where you are.
Simply a waste of manpower.
Troll, did you bother to open the link to the best of the rest? It’s all there for your review.