Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Open the Books

A Lebo Citizens reader sent me a link to an interesting website that lists all the annual wages by township. The website allows three searches before you have to register for free. They ask for a donation, but it is optional. The link,  Open the Books should open up to the latest annual wages (2015) of every Municipality of Mt. Lebanon employee, ranked from highest paid to lowest paid.

Some highlights of 2015:

  • Steve Feller was the second highest paid ($159,575), as manager.
  • Susan Morgans made $108,260.00, as public information officer.
  • Laura Pace Lilley earned $52,679, as assistant public information officer. Not bad for part time work, which often includes fifteen minute work days.
  • David Donnellan, recreation director, was paid $115,449 in 2015.
  • Note how many police officers are paid less than our recreation manager and public information officer.
  • There were 514 entries for Township of Mt. Lebanon listed for 2015, the largest employer for any township listed. 
To see where Mt. Lebanon ranks among all local employees, click here.


Anonymous said...

Super hard hitting journalism here.

Jason Margolis said...

This is a big problem. The elite feeding off the middle class to keep the elite elite.

Anonymous said...

Some interesting numbers to go along with the Open the Books date.

Census Pop. %±
1920 2,258 —
1930 13,403 493.6%
1940 19,571 46.0%
1950 26,604 35.9%
1960 35,361 32.9%
1970 39,157 10.7%
1980 34,414 −12.1%
1990 33,362 −3.1%
2000 33,017 −1.0%
2010 33,137 0.4%
Est. 2016 32,475 -2.0%

Disturbing trend since 1980!

The median income for a household in the township was $60,783, and the median income for a family was $79,744 (these figures had risen to $73,765 and $98,731 respectively as of a 2007 estimate.[20]) Males had a median income of $56,183 versus $37,008 for females. The per capita income for the township was $33,652. About 2.2% of families and 3.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.9% of those under age 18 and 4.8% of those age 65 or over.

Seems the public sector pays very, very well compared to private sector. No wonder there is a pension crisis in Pennsylvania.

Anonymous said...

Police Chief McDonough made $61,000 ? No wonder he left !

E. T. Gillen said...

Yes, 9:44 AM. Specifically, Coleman made $8,502 more than part-timer Laura Pace Lilley.
Waiting for the "personal vendetta" comment which usually shows up when I post stuff like this.

Anonymous said...

The fangs and attack dogs should be arriving here soon. God forbid we have a civil discussion.

E. T. Gillen said...

Anonymous at 9:50 AM, if you mean the first comment, I took it as a compliment. I couldn't tell if it was meant to be taken as sarcasm.

Anonymous said...

Susan Morgans makes how much? You must have a typo there, Elaine. She couldn't possibly make half that amount for putting together that monthly rag that appears in our mailboxes.

E. T. Gillen said...

No typo, 9:59 AM. People are shocked when I say that she makes more than $100,000 a year. Plus benefits!

Anonymous said...

"Coleman made $8,502 more than part-timer Laura Pace Lilley."

Chief McDonough made $61,181 in 2015 because he retired in May of 2015.

I am shocked to see a mischaracterization of the facts on this blog to make a personal attack on an anathema. Shocked, I tell you. Shocked.

E. T. Gillen said...

Such a big word, 10:53 AM. I guess that is why they pay you the big bucks.

Anonymous said...

Fair enough. The Chief made slightly more than the Recreation Director. Dodging those day campers is high risk !

Anonymous said...

Shocked, Elaine. Shocked. :)

Anonymous said...

No Elaine I wasn't referring to the first comment. Like you I couldn't tell if it was sarcasm or a compliment.

I was predicting comments more like 10:53's although it wasn't as bad as what will probably be arriving soon.

10:53's probably correct about the Chief's partial salary and is correct to point that out. The sarcasm though is entirely unnecessary as it's not like the official magazine or press has ever gotten numbers wrong.

OK, let's move on. The declining population numbers aren't a good sign and a discussion should begin as to whether we need all those high salaried people. Can we sustain them and their legacy costs and maintain the infrastructure as well?

Anonymous said...

The recreation director dodges campers 11:32? He doesn't schedule all of the parks, activities and maintenance? If what you have said is true, that he works directly with day campers he is making too much.

Anonymous said...

Now it's pretty easy to see why suddenly they're looking to collect "fees" for overnight parking, stormwater runoff and garbage collection.

It used to be that your property taxes, earned income taxes, etc., etc. were more than enough to cover municipal overhead.
Now we even pay for things like $800/deer kills even many communities get it done for free.

Anonymous said...

You mentioned recreation maintenance 12:44.
Wasn't it around 2015 that we were talking about how deplorable conditions were on a fields and in our parks?
Seems to me surrounding communities manage to keep their grass fields in playable condition.

Richard Gideon said...

Blog readers should also consult the "Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for 2016" in order to put some of the salary and population figures presented in this thread in context. For a lot of people - I dare say most - this document will be enough to put an insomniac to sleep in a matter of minutes, but there are a number of charts and summaries that cut to the chase. In all fairness, the CAFR shows the municipality to be in good overall financial shape - no surprise there - with a "net position" for government activities of $3,381,416, and business activities of $254,084. "Net position" is simply the difference between money in minus money out. However, these figures are down from 2015.

Under the category "General Government," the Public Information Office was the second biggest expense at $836,514, just behind "Fringe benefits unallocated" at $1,106,117. To put it another way, 18% of the money spent on "General Government" was for the Public Information Office. And how is our glossy municipal magazine doing? Well, according to the CAFR, "Revenues for the average 64-page magazine were $68.7k behind 2015 collections. Corresponding expenditures were below budget and prior year totals."

With respect to salaries and fringe benefits, in 2016 $19,949,878 in wages and fringe benefits were paid to municipal employees. Of that figure, $10,441,581 was paid in "regular" salaries and wages, and $6,701,292 was paid in "fringe benefits."

As an aside, I have definitively identified July 12, 2017 at 10:53 AM as the ghost of Yogi Berra.

Anonymous said...

Strange thing, as I scroll through that list of municipal salaries that tag line from a credit card commercial keeps playing over in my mind... "What's in your wallet?"

Then I start thinking about my healthcare contributions, pension benefits (ha ha), the fact that I use my own smartphone for work and my employer could pull up stakes and leave the area at anytime.

Anonymous said...

The population decline occurred in the 1970s and early 80s. We've been pretty steady (holding at roughly 33,000) for nearly 30 years. There are concerns here, but I don't think this belongs anywhere near the top of the list.

Anonymous said...

From 1980 to 1990 we lost 1,052 people.
From 1990 to 2000 we lost 345.
In 2010 we gained back 127.
In 2016 it's estimated we'll lose 652 (if my mental math is accurate)

Considering that an average family is comprised of about 4 people, it seems we need to be looking at the composition of population and which services we should be adjusting up or down.
Burying our heads in the sand and believing it's no big deal isn't a very wise choice.

In the private sector a loss of 1-2% in customers is alarming, and steps are usually immediately put in place to trim over or to attract new ones.

E. T. Gillen said...

Billionaire Mark Cuban is marketing to millennials. Move to Dallas

Anonymous said...

Move to Dallas?!

And leave the crown jewel, $800 a pop deer kills, the rain water tax and our official municipal magazine.

No way!

Anonymous said...

And in addition, why would anyone want to move away from all those wonderful MTL neighbors that say, "if you don't like MY Mt. Lebanon, you should get out!"

Anonymous said...

1-2% annual loss might be alarming, depends on your business. If you're selling VCRs (or even DVD players) today, you'd probably take that in a heart beat. Selling solar panels or organic veggies? Yikes. 1-2% loss over ten years? That's negligible and likely largely attributable to smaller families living in (relative to Peters, USC, et al.) smaller homes.

I'm not apologizing for the problems that exist in our community, I just think we are better served by focusing on real problems.

Anonymous said...

8:17, shouldn't a decline and its cause (like smaller families or shift to predominantly empty nesters) be a prime consideration as we focus on our community's "real problems?"

That was the point of the population numbers, nothing more, nothing less.

Anonymous said...

Funny, there is an interesting article that appeared on the Lebomag site that relates to the population issue.

The Compagnones sons’ were shocked when they sold the family home. “They were very upset. They loved the house,” Jane recalls. “My one son said, ‘If I had the money, I’d buy the house.’”

But the bottom line is that he didn’t; one son moved to San Diego and the other to Boston. “I told them, ‘You can move across country, and Daddy and I can’t move a mile away?’” she says, laughing."

This may be a problem bigger than just Mt. Lebanon, but notice the boys moved elsewhere.

Ming said...

The 401a in the CAFR is for the 12 non union employees - they get a 15% (of salary) contribution from the township and are restricted from making contributions from their salary - so unlike a typical 401k that most people are used to. Bottom line - salaries for those at the top are 15% higher than stated.

E. T. Gillen said...

Oh. My. Goodness. So the twelve listed - are they:
Feller, Morgans, Donnellan, McGill, Sukal, Schalles, Cross, Berkley, Milliron, Richey, Windstein, and one more?
And they get longevity pay too. That is crazy!