Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Salem's Top Municipal Earners

The Salem News released their annual article listing the top 50 earners on the city of Salem payroll.

It brought several questions to mind for me. Why are we paying the school superintendent and the chief of police $45,000 more than the mayor? How does the director of buildings and grounds make more than the mayor? How are so many management type positions (deputy chief, director of buildings and grounds, captain) in Salem eligible for overtime? I mean, if you are earning near 120k (before any details or OT), shouldn't that be a salaried position? It is a supervisory position, no? How does the mayor not make the top 50?

The top 50 made just a tick under $6,000,000 dollars last year. The average homeowner property tax bill is about $4,467. At that rate, 1,332 homeowners property tax bills go to nothing other than paying the salaries of the top 50. Remember, that's before we've paid the mayor, City Council, a single teacher or principal, a DPW worker, etc.

Is it any wonder that Salem has one of the highest residential tax rates in the region, at $15.05 per thousand? For comparison, Beverly is $11.63,  Peabody is $10.50, Danvers is $13.41, and Marblehead is $9.57.

Surprised? Neither am I.

What does shock me is that the Salem News may finally have learned how to do a table on a web page. When I viewed this article first it was in typical Salem News gibberish format, where they failed to put it into table format. I went back today and it's actually a table. Good on you Snews!


  1. I would love to be on this list some day.
    Even the bottom of the list would be fine. :(


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