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Thread: 2012 Auburn City Employee Salaries

  1. #21

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    Default Re: 2012 Auburn City Employee Salaries

    I think it's time to offer something specific about why it's important for the salaries to be generally available to the public. When I started this exercise a few years back, the Parks and Recreation Superintendent made more than either the Chief of Police or the Fire Chief. I thought that was wrong, not because I thought that the Parks guy didn't deserve what he was getting, but because I thought that the Police and Fire Chiefs have more responsibility than he does. I talked about this at a council meeting, and Mayor Yoder agreed that it was time to move the two chiefs up the pay ladder. To a certain extent he's done that. The Police Chief, at $55,301.48/yr is now ahead of the Parks Super, who is at $54,319.20; and the Fire Chief, at $54,295.80 is almost there. Now I would add the Street Superintendent as someone whose salary needs to be brought into line with his responsibilities. His job, which pays $53,126.58/yr, is a 24/7 one, clearing snow in winter and picking up storm debris in all seasons; yet he makes almost $1,200.00/yr less than the Parks Super.

    People can reasonably disagree about what a particular job is worth or what a particular occupant of a position should be paid. But you can't have that argument unless the numbers are out there for everyone to see. ARMYMPVET mentioned "road repair" as something more important than salaries, but I say that there's a connection between the two. I think that Auburn does a pretty fair job of keeping streets repaired and clean...and I think that the people who make that happen on a daily basis deserve pay as good as the job that they do. Our Parks Superintendent does not deserve less, but our Street Superintendent surely deserves more...and so does our Fire Chief.
    Do not trust the experts. If you believe the doctors, nothing is healthy. If you believe the ministers, nothing is wholesome. If you believe the generals, nothing is safe.--Robert Cecil (1830-1903), Third Marquess of Salisbury

  2. #22
    Common-Tater Guest

    Default Re: 2012 Auburn City Employee Salaries

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_Walter View Post
    I think it's time to offer something specific about why it's important for the salaries to be generally available to the public.
    And they are. Just not on the city website. Mission accomplished...

  3. #23

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    Default Re: 2012 Auburn City Employee Salaries

    Quote Originally Posted by ARMYMPVET View Post



    I DO agree with total disclosure. See above.
    Gee, I'm sorry, it sounded like you thought it wasn't important enough for Mike to put it up for free, so people could look at it, without their names going to the Gestapo?

  4. #24
    Common-Tater Guest

    Default Re: 2012 Auburn City Employee Salaries

    Quote Originally Posted by blue adept View Post
    Gee, I'm sorry, it sounded like you thought it wasn't important enough for Mike to put it up for free, so people could look at it, without their names going to the Gestapo?
    Apparently you have no idea, then, what the discussion has been about. Disclosure isn't the issue because the information is already available to anyone who wants it. The issue is whether it's necessary to post the information on the city website. Next, Mike will insist the city make out an annual brochure containing the salaries and mail it to everyone.

  5. #25

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    Default Re: 2012 Auburn City Employee Salaries

    Quote Originally Posted by Common-Tater View Post
    Apparently you have no idea, then, what the discussion has been about. Disclosure isn't the issue because the information is already available to anyone who wants it. The issue is whether it's necessary to post the information on the city website. Next, Mike will insist the city make out an annual brochure containing the salaries and mail it to everyone.
    No, I get it, and disclosure is what the discussion is about, if it wasn't, there would be no problem. The whole gist was there are more important things to discuss, than salaries, which is the cry of someone that doesn't want them available freely to the public. Freely is the word we need to discuss. If it is truly public, there is absolutely no reason for them to take your name, und zee your papers! It is people like you and ARMYMPVET, that cannot stand sunshine on what should be posted everywhere. My take on this is ARMYMP is a cop, and as such doesn't really want what he makes out in the open. He states as much when he said " My salary is my business and nobody elses ". You on the other hand routinely take what I say and twist the bejesus out of it. It is very necessary to post openly this information as Mike has done, otherwise it wouldn't be in the state code. By them making everyone sign their name as it were, they are intimidating people in to not looking at the information. If Mike's posting of this information is no big deal, why then are you and ARMYMPVET making such a big deal? It's no skin off your teeth, and no work either, and no-one had to pay for it. Call it a public service by a public official!

  6. #26

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    Default Re: 2012 Auburn City Employee Salaries

    For the record, I am not a police office. As my user name suggests, I am a veteran of the United States Army Military Police. I work in the private sector as a quality inspector with a local company. I have to repeat myself again when I say that I am totally behind having this information readily available to the public. Which it is. Also again, since the council and mayor have said that they would post this data, it should be, ASAP. Councilman Walter's posting of city salaries is not a big deal as some have suggested. If he wants to put public domain information on the Fence Post, that is his right and I defend that right. Some have said that printing and paper costs are wasteful,I agree. What if the clerk's office were to print one copy and laminate it and post it in the lobby? This would satisfy everyone's curiousity. There are things that Councilman Waler says that I agree with.There are things he says that I dont. And you know something? Thats ok. That is what is great about our form of government. Its ok to disagree. What started out as a debate over ranking what is more important to post online has degenerated into a finger pointing, name calling rant. Gestapo? Really? Just because this data is not currently online does not mean it is not freely available. I agree with blue adept in his statement that there is no reason to take names.Are they? I dont know. I have not asked for this information. I do not rank it very high on my "Things I need to know before I die" list.
    "NEVER IN THE COURSE OF HUMAN HISTORY HAVE SO FEW DONE SO MUCH WITH SO LITTLE." - Winston Churchill

  7. #27

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    Default Re: 2012 Auburn City Employee Salaries

    What makes the city different from the county that they do not have to advertise the salaries in a legal document each year? I have never heard anyone within county government that have been upset about their salaries posted each year in the newspaper, so why should it create an issue for city employees. They are government employees. They should know that they accepted a position that provides them with little to no privacy.

  8. #28

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    Default Re: 2012 Auburn City Employee Salaries

    Very true, photoby, Councilman Walter, does or does not the city have to publish year end report of expenses? I would think that salaries would be considered an operation expense. I do not think it is the employees themselves who overly concerned but more the council, or just a few members. An excellent idea however, publish the information in the newspaper right along side the county report. That should satisfy all concerned.
    "NEVER IN THE COURSE OF HUMAN HISTORY HAVE SO FEW DONE SO MUCH WITH SO LITTLE." - Winston Churchill

  9. #29
    Common-Tater Guest

    Default Re: 2012 Auburn City Employee Salaries

    Quote Originally Posted by ARMYMPVET View Post
    VeAn excellent idea however, publish the information in the newspaper right along side the county report. That should satisfy all concerned.
    All somene who writes for the paper has to do is go down to the office and pick up a copy of the report.

  10. #30

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    Default Re: 2012 Auburn City Employee Salaries

    Here's my letter to The Star that appeared April 29 listing the 25 top-earning city employees (based on 26 bi-weekly pay periods):

    Councilman reveals Auburn salary scale
    Saturday, April 28, 2012, 12:00am

    To the editor:

    On March 28, I placed on The Fence Post a complete list of Auburnís current city employee salaries and hourly pay rates taken from data that the city sent to the State Board of Accounts. The reason I did so (and have done since 2010) is that Auburnís annual salary ordinance specifies only a set of bracketed ranges within which the mayor and his department heads may fix the pay for each employee. That means that individuals with exactly the same job title may be paid at different rates. The police and fire departments are exceptions, because state law mandates the same pay rate for all officers and firefighters in the same grade.

    Although the actual salaries are public record, Auburnís use of bracketed pay ranges keeps the public (and the employees themselves) from learning exactly what a particular job pays just by reading the salary ordinance. Thatís no accident. Itís the way the system is deliberately designed. When I first proposed in 2010 putting the actual salaries on the cityís official website (just as the City of Chicago now does) to make it easy for taxpayers to find the information, Mayor Norman Yoder and the rest of the City Council went ballistic. ďMake them work to get it,Ē was the memorable response of one of them.

    I donít think that it should be hard for people to get information that rightfully belongs to them in the first place. I think that itís the duty of public officials to make access to that information as easy as possible. And I think that democracy works best when people have the information they need to make sound judgments as citizens. If you want the complete 2012 salary information, itís on The Fence Postís Auburn sub-forum. If youíre willing to settle for a list of the salaries of the cityís 25 top-earning employees, here it is:

    Information systems manager, $86,658.00;
    city civil engineer, $76,296.22;
    electric superintendent, $70,691.92;
    water pollution control (WPC) superintendent, $62,909.86;
    assistant fiber superintendent (electric department), $61,690.46;
    assistant city civil engineer, $61,535.76;
    information systems specialist, $59,842.64;
    broadband network specialist (electric department), $58,554.08;
    building and planning administrator: $57,038.54;
    chief of police, $55,301.48;
    parks superintendent, $54,319.20;
    fire chief, $54,295.80;
    application specialist (information systems), $54,287.48;
    human resources director, vacant;
    street superintendent, $53,126.58;
    WPC biosolids supervisor, $52,280.28;
    deputy clerk-treasurer, $51,207.00;
    WPC lab supervisor, $49,860.72;
    water production supervisor, $48,833.20;
    deputy fire chief, $48,827.48;
    WPC plant maintenance supervisor, $48,581.00;
    application specialist (clerk-treasurerís office), $48,581.00;
    purchasing agent, $47,878.48;
    water superintendent, $46,914.92;
    city attorney, $37,551.28 (plus a $95/hour litigation rate).

    Mike Walter

    Member, Auburn City Council
    Do not trust the experts. If you believe the doctors, nothing is healthy. If you believe the ministers, nothing is wholesome. If you believe the generals, nothing is safe.--Robert Cecil (1830-1903), Third Marquess of Salisbury

  11. #31

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    Default Re: 2012 Auburn City Employee Salaries

    I did notice recently (after Mike Walters had posted this salary information) that the Journal Gazette published an even more detailed listing of both Fort Wayne city employees and Allen County employees and their salaries. The additional detail that I noticed is that along with the position held by an employee, the actual employee's name was included.

    Once again, I feel Mike has done the proper thing allowing the public to know where/how their tax monies are being spent on salaries. Public monies spent is public information as far as I am concerned.
    "It is the power of thought that gives man power over nature."
    Hans Christian Anderson

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