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Philadelphia employee salaries

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Philadelphia is a city in Pennsylvania. The city and county of Philadelphia consolidated in 1854.[1]

Salaries and benefits

Salaries

2011

In 2011 there were 33 employees earning over $150,000 and five earning more than $190,000:[2][3]

  • Sam Gulino, the city medical examiner, earned $239,200.
  • Mark Gale, the chief executive officer for the division of aviation, earned $200,000.
  • Mayor Michael Nutter earned the third highest salary at $198, 658.
  • Charles Ramsey, the deputy mayor and police commissioner, earned $195.000.
  • Siobhan Reardon earned $192,500 as the president and director of the Free Library of Philadelphia.
  • Rufus Williams, the district attorney, earned a salary of $163,602.
  • Sarah Hart, an assistant district attorney, earned a salary of $156,9960.

Philadelphia City Council members drew a salary ranging from $117,991 to $148,090.

Anna Verna, president of the city council, earned a salary of $148,090.[4]

2010

In 2010 there were 36 city employees earning more than $150,000 and six earning more than $190,000.[5]

  • Gulino earned $239,200.
  • Frank Allan, chief technology officer, earned $209,000.
  • Gale earned $200,000.
  • Nutter earned $198, 658.
  • Reardon earned $192,500.

Philadelphia City Council members drew a salary ranging from $117,991 to $148,090.

Verna, president of the city council, earned a salary of $148,090.[6]

2009

In 2009 there were 27 city employees earning more than $150,000 and four earning more than $190,000.[7]

  • Gulino earned $239,200.
  • Frank Allan, chief technology officer, earned $204,987.
  • Nutter earned $195,588.
  • Reardon earned $188,804.
  • Donna Mouzayck, first deputy city solicitor, earned $150,695.

Philadelphia City Council members drew a salary ranging from $117,991 to $148,090. Verna, president of the city council, earned a salary of $148,090.[8]

2008

In 2008 there were 41 city employees earning over $150,000 and five earning more than $190,000.[9]

  • Gulino earned a salary of $225,916.
  • Frank Allan, the chief information officer for the city, earned $211,574.
  • Ian Hood, deputy medical examiner, took home $199,408.
  • Clarence Armbrister, chief of staff, earned $190,8997.
  • Nutter, and the previous mayor John Street, earned a salary of $186,044.
  • Reardon earned $185,127 as the president and director of the Free Library of Philadelphia.
  • Dianne Reed, deputy finance director, earned a salary of $152,967.

Philadelphia City Council members drew a salary ranging from $110,498 to $140,864.

Verna, president of the city council, earned a salary of $148,864.[10]

Sunshine Review requested information about city salaries from 2008 to 2011 through a public records request Sunshine Review was seeking data on the number of city employees earning over $150,000 in annual salaries as well as salary information for the mayor, city council, police chief, city manager, district attorney and other administrative and elected officials.

Benefits

The city of Philadelphia provides health, vision and dental benefits to its employees through a variety of plans. In 2010, the cost of those benefits broken down by plan:[11]:

Name Single Single plus one Family
Keystone Keycare $376.46 $696.45 $1,091.73
Keystone POS $379.39 $701.87 $1,100.24
Personal Choice $644.03 $1,191.45 $1,867.69
Dental $l 28.44 $55.45 $85.31
Dental (for HMO’s) $17.20 $33.50 $599.80
Optical $2.46 $4.55 $7.13
Prescriptions $107.65 $199.15 $312.18

Financial disclosures

The Philadelphia Research Initiative obtained documents detailing the financial disclosure forms for members of Philadelphia City Council from 2008 to 2011. Among other things, the forms showed outside jobs that some council members held while in office.[12]

Cost of pensions

See also: Pennsylvania public pensions

A study published by the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia revealed that the city of Philadelphia had a problem with the efficiency and costs of public employee pensions.[13] The amount that Philadelphia paid to pension recipients limited the city’s ability to use its budget effectively.

The report revealed that there were more individuals receiving pension benefits—33,907 claimants in 2006—than workers in the city—28,701.[13] City pensions were comparable to the benefits that employees in other cities received, ranging from $29,000 for municipal employees to $42,00 for firefighters. But Philadelphia employees contributed less to their fund than employees in other cities at an average of 1.85% of contributions coming from employees in the last 20 years.[13]

The authors of the study recommended three steps towards addressing the problem of high costs in pensions.[13] First, improve data collection so that decision-making in terms of pension policies is more informed. Second, promote transparency for better accountability to citizens. Third, reduce costs and use the savings for developing Philadelphia.

Phone use

The city of Philadelphia denied Sunshine Review's public records request for data on city cell phones, including the number of city phones, who the phones had been issued to and the amount budgeted for the use of the telephones. According to a letter received from the city, the request was denied due to "insufficient information." The city said the language used by Sunshine Review asking for "city cell phone use" was unclear.

Car use

The city of Philadelphia declined to provide data on the number of vehicles operated by the city, which departments were allocated use of the vehicles and the costs of vehicle purchases and maintenance following a public records request on automobile use by Sunshine Review. In a letter the city said the request was insufficiently specific. The city did include its vehicle use policy, which provides that city vehicles are municipal property and cannot be used for personal use, cannot be used for transportation of family members and cannot be operated by non-city employees.

Salary records project

In 2011, Sunshine Review chose 152 local governments as the focus of research on public employee salaries. The editors of Sunshine Review selected eight states with relevant political contexts (listed alphabetically):

1. California
2. Florida
3. Illinois
4. Michigan
5. New Jersey
6. Pennsylvania
7. Texas
8. Wisconsin

Within these states, the editors of Sunshine Review focused on the most populous cities, counties and school districts, as well as the emergency services entities within these governments. The purpose of this selection method was to develop articles on governments affecting the most citizens.

The salary information garnered from these states were a combination of existing online resources and state Freedom of Information Act requests sent out to the governments.

Importance of public employee pay disclosure

In July 2010, The Los Angeles Times uncovered that officials in Bell, California were making remarkably high salaries.[14] Chief Administrative Officer Robert Rizzo was earning a yearly $787,637. It was later uncovered that Rizzo's total compensation after taking benefits into account topped $1.5 million a year.[15]

For comparison:[14]

  • Manhattan Beach, with about 7,000 fewer people than Bell, paid its most recent city manager $257,484 a year.
  • Long Beach, with a population close to 500,000, paid its city manager $235,000 annually.
  • Los Angeles County paid its chief executive, William T. Fujioka, $338,458.

Corruption solution

After this report was released, governments began to proactively disclose salary information of their employees. Before the end of the summer of 2010, more than a dozen cities in Orange County, for example, posted salary information on the front pages of their websites.[16]

The cost of transparency websites maintaining such information ranges from the tens of thousands to the hundreds of thousands. These websites also save money, and this often is not taken into account when measuring costs.

Citizens upset about the breach of trust and armed with information formed a group called the Bell Association to Stop the Abuse, which pushed for an independent audit of city salaries and contracts.[17]

Citizens, empowered with information, are key to keeping government free from corruption and efficient. A study published by the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia revealed that the city of Philadelphia has a problem with the efficiency and costs of public employee pensions.[13] The amount that Philadelphia pays to pension recipients limits the city’s ability to use its budget effectively.

The report revealed that there were more individuals receiving pension benefits—33,907 claimants in 2006—than workers in the city—28,701.[13] The authors of the study recommend three steps towards addressing the problem of high costs in pensions.[13] First, improve data collection so that decision-making in terms of pension policies is more informed. Second, promote transparency for better accountability to citizens. Third, reduce costs and use the savings for developing Philadelphia.

Resistance to public employee salary data as public records

The idea of making public employee salaries is relatively new. In 2008, several local government employee associations and unions protested the posting of state employee salaries by newspaper The Sacramento Bee.[18][19] At the time, it was seen as a safety risk and invasion of privacy.

Sunshine Review aims in posting salary information

Publicly posted salaries often leave out important information. Salary schedules can be published as ranges, not as specific take-home compensation, and high-level, highly-paid positions are often not disclosed proactively.[16][15] Additionally, salaries leave out compensation received through health and retirement benefits, as well as benefits such as commuter allowances and cell phone reimbursements. This project aimed to close the gap and provide a more accurate picture of public employee salaries for the sake of public education and transparency.

See also

External links

References

  1. History of Philadelphia City Treasurer
  2. Philadelphia salary data, obtained via records request by Sunshine Review, April 19, 2011
  3. Philadelphia response, April 19, 2011
  4. Philadelphia salary data, obtained via records request by Sunshine Review, April 19, 2011
  5. Philadelphia salary data, obtained via records request by Sunshine Review, April 19, 2011
  6. Philadelphia salary data, obtained via records request by Sunshine Review, April 19, 2011
  7. Philadelphia salary data, obtained via records request by Sunshine Review, April 19, 2011
  8. Philadelphia salary data, obtained via records request by Sunshine Review, April 19, 2011
  9. Philadelphia salary data, obtained via records request by Sunshine Review, April 19, 2011
  10. Philadelphia salary data, obtained via records request by Sunshine Review, April 19, 2011
  11. City of Philadelphia, Benefits Memo, June 30, 2010
  12. Pew Charitable Trusts, Philadelphia City Council Financial Disclosure Forms, Jan. 28, 2011
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 13.6 '’Philadelphia’s Quiet Crisis: The Rising Cost of Employee Benefits, Pew Charitable Trusts and the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia, January 23, 2008
  14. 14.0 14.1 The Los Angeles Times "Bell city manager might be highest paid in nation: $787,637 a year," July 14, 2010
  15. 15.0 15.1 The Los Angeles Times "Benefits push Bell ex-manager's compensation to more than $1.5 million," August 8, 2010
  16. 16.0 16.1 The Orange County Register "O.C. cities dash to post personnel salaries," August 10, 2010
  17. Bloomberg "California Official's $800,000 Salary in City of 38,000 Triggers Protests," July 20, 2010
  18. GovTech "California State Workers Protest Salary Database Publication," March 17, 2008
  19. The Sacramento Bee "State Worker Salary Search"