The Mesquite Citizen Journal recently obtained salary and benefit information for the City of Mesquite employees and managers for Calendar Year 2011.
The highest paid employee in the City is Police Chief Troy Tanner whose salary, benefits, and miscellaneous payments total $155,428. He is followed by Kurt Sawyer, who was until last week Interim City Manager for the past eleven months. Sawyer, who received a five percent bump in pay while filling the interim position, made a total of $146,873 in pay and benefits in 2011.
Six of the highest ten paid public employees in Mesquite belong to the Police Department: Tanner, Lieutenant Robert Charles, Detective Mike VanHouten, Clarissa Larsen, Sergeant Scott Taylor, and Sergeant Robert Stepp. While base pay didn't necessarily put them in the top spots, other compensation like overtime pay and retirement contributions paid by the City helped boost their overall standings.
In addition to the Police and Sawyer, the top ten compensated employees include City Attorney Cheryl Hunt, Public Works Director Bill Tanner, and Fire Chief John Higley.
Overall, the City of Mesquite spent a total of $12,228,741 on employee salaries and benefits in Calendar Year 2011. The data compiled by the City reflects employment costs for Calendar Year 2011 rather than information isolated to fiscal years. That makes it difficult to compare it to budgetary data that's developed based on projected costs from July 1 to June 30 of each year. The data supplied also does not include information about employees who left City employment during the year.
After horror stories about abusive practices in managing call back pay, on call pay, and other peripheral salary expenditures by public employees, especially Fire and Rescue, in nearby Nevada localities, it appears that's not happening in Mesquite.
Call-back pay for the
entire Fire Department totaled $8,334 for the calendar year. On-call pay was zero as was shift differential pay. Overtime pay for the Department was $124,261. Holiday pay amounted to $52,692 while Vacation Sell Back was $9,259 and Sick Leave Sell Back came to $3,616.
In all, the City spent $2,287,897 on Fire & Rescue salaries and benefits for the Calendar Year 2011.
That's almost the same amount the City spent on 20 employees in the management category. That group earned a combined total of $2,245,655 for the year in pay and benefits.
Because of changes made to the pay and benefits allotted to elected officials, that group only costs citizens $118,106 for the calendar year. However, the number supplied by the City only includes the currently elected officials. It does not include the pay and benefits given to former Mayor Susan Holecheck and Councilmen Robert 'Bubba' Smith, Randy Ence, and Dave Bennett, all of whom left office in July.
Those four former elected officials had been paid a monthly car allowance of $400 and were earning upwards of $18,000 annually in base pay when they left office.
When the current Mayor, Mark Wier, and Councilmen George Rapson, Kraig Hafen, and Al Litman took office July 1, the car allowance dropped to $200. The pay for Councilmen dropped to $10,000 and the Mayor's pay dropped to $15,000.
Councilmen Geno Withelder and Karl Gustaveson were not affected by the July 1 compensation changes since they were already in office.
Management salary information for calendar year 2011 is available through this link
Fire & Rescue salary information for calendar year 2011 is available through this link
MPD salary information for calendar year 2011 is available through this link.
Information sorted by highest paid to lowest paid is available through this link.
Information sorted by pay group is available through this link.
All salary and benefit information was supplied by the City of Mesquite.