Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Out of whack

There has been quite a bit written here about some Municipal employees and their salaries. Through a Right To Know, the 2016 earnings/compensation for all individuals in the following departments:

Administration
Animal Control
Community Development
Crossing Guards
Elected Officials
Finance
Fire
Golf Course
Ice Rink
Information Services
Library
Office Services
Parking
Police
Pool
Public Information Office
Public Works
Rec Management
Seasonal Programs
Tax Office
Tennis

Are listed here. I find it interesting that the assistant to the manager (Bonnie Cross) is making almost double what the assistant manager/planner (Ian McMeans) makes.

I'm a little confused about animal control. I know that we no longer have anyone certified to kill rats, and I was under the impression that we have an arrangement with Upper St. Clair, perhaps through SHACOG, to share those services.

Moving down to Finance, the finance director (J. A. McCreery) and the assistant to the manager (Cross) were hired to replace Marcia Taylor, the former assistant manager. Add McCreery's, Cross', and McMeans' salaries together plus full time benefits for the three, and was not the most economical decision our commissioners made.

The Library had paid out almost $1.2 million dollars in earnings last year. That surprised me.

I have skipped Fire and Police. They put their lives on the line.

I have also skipped the Pool, Ice Rink, Tennis, Seasonal Programs, and Golf Course. I cannot comment on these departments since they generate revenue.

Which leaves me to my big gripe, the Public Information Office. I remember Susan Morgans saying that only she and her administrative assistant are full time. All the others are part time. $435,357.92 for public information, which includes the magazine (no printing or photographers or freelance writers or mailing costs) and social media such as Facebook and Twitter. $435,357.92. Plus expenses.

I think things at 710 Washington Road are a little out of whack.

1 comment:

Jason Margolis said...

First, I would like to note how much more peaceful it is when you only publish comments by those willing to put their name to it! Additionally, the commenters seem to be much more intelligent post-transparency. What a great decision. It's easy to be an on-line abuser anonymously - let's see how many will actually put their names to it!

As for the payroll... I appreciate that you left fire and police out of the critique. In particular, I have found the MTL Fire Department to be outstanding in terms of customer-service orientation.

The one thing that stands out is the sheer number of people on the payroll for such a small community. I guess someone has figured out what the critical mass of public employees needed is to garner the support for ridiculous and continual tax increases. How many people will vote for a tax decrease when it would mean a reduction of elimination of their own paycheck, even if it is the more responsible and moral path? Maybe 2 or 3 in 100.

Of course, this only works as long as you can convince people that current market property values, inclusive of property taxes/year + likely Newcomers Tax increase when you buy, are worth paying.

Word on the street is that this game is almost out of gas. For some hard data, look at some of the recently-sold homes on Zillow for MTL. The average number of price reductions before sale is astounding.