Warren officials earn much less

townhall2

townhall2Warren’s town officials are paid substantially less than their counterparts in the East Bay and across the state, according to figures just released by the state.

Many of Warren’s department heads — from fire chief to DPW head, finance director to clerk and others — earn $20,000 or more less than officials in similar positions in the neighboring towns of Barrington and Warren. In addition, they also find themselves in the bottom half of the pay-grade statewide, generally falling in 20th to 30th place in salary rankings among the state’s 39 communities.

The trend continues in the Bristol Warren Regional School District, where both the business director and superintendent earn less than surrounding towns — they rank 19th and 22nd statewide, as well.

The figures were provided by the Rhode Island Department of Revenue’s Division of Municipal Finance. While the salaries listed include longevity pay, they do not include the cost of benefits, such as health insurance and sick time.

The survey comes as Warren Town Council members begins discussion next Tuesday night on the town’s 2014-15 municipal budget.

Town manager

Warren’s chief executive, Thomas Gordon, earns $71,595 per year. That’s 29th statewide, and substantially less than Barrington ($136,645) and slightly less than Bristol ($75,500).

Tax assessor

Cathy Maisano earns $51,070 as Warren’s tax assessor, good enough for 29th place statewide. Her counterparts in Barrington and Bristol earn $73,171 and $63,500, respectively.

Building official

William Nash is one of Warren’s busiest public officials. He sans $57,595 (26th place statewide) while his peer in Bristol earns $62,800. Barrington’s brings home $79,857.

Town Clerk

Julie Coelho’s $57,342 salary pales in comparison with Barrington’s ($68,850) and Bristol’s ($74,938). Her pay ranks her 29th statewide in that position.

Finance director

Michael Abbruzzi recently returned to work for the town after a several-year hiatus. Last year, the position paid $63,829, while in Bristol the salary was $81,350. The salary in Barrington last year was $99,247.

Fire chief

Chief Alexander Galinelli earned $70,957 last year. That’s less than Bristol ($89,836) and Barrington ($91,963). Nineteen fire chiefs statewide earn more than Chief Galinelli.

DPW head

John Massed brought home $72,018 last year, good enough for 23rd place statewide. In Barrington, the same position paid $103,986; in Bristol, the pay was $99,809.

Town planner

Warren Town Planner Caroline Wells does a bit of everything. For her efforts, she earned $53,190 last year, coming in 30th place statewide — the lowest state ranking of any Warren official. Her counterpart in Barrington earned $77,609, while in Bristol the amount was $80,399.

Police chief

Police Chief Peter Achilli has one of the smaller police forces, overall numbers and per capita-wise, in the East Bay. He earned $80,451 last year, 29th out of the state’s 39 chiefs. Chief Josue Canario of Bristol earned $95,157 (in addition to his pension as the town’s former deputy chief), and Chief John LaCross of Barrington brought home $95,193.

School superintendent

Though well-compensated at $140,000, superintendent Melinda Thies ranked 22nd statewide for her position. She earned slightly less than her counterpart in Barrigton, $147,500.

School business director

Likewise, the business manger’s position in Bristol Warren last year paid $104,0505, 19th place. In Barrington, the position paid 124,913.

Recreation director

Warren’s part-time recreation director earned $8,550 last year (25th statewide). In Barrington, the director earned $25,626 while in Bristol, Walter Burke brought home $67,422.

Probate judge

Warren’s part-time probate judge was paid $3,000, more than Barrington ($2,500) but less than Bristol ($4,843). Warren ranks 33rd statewide in that position.

Authors

3 Comments

  1. kbellharney said:

    No mention of the Town Library Director? She’s a department head correct? I’m sure her salary could use a boost.

    • Benjamin DeCastro said:

      Perhaps we could let the Library become it’s own 501c3 operation and sell them the building for $1 and release the town from that $250k per year burden, not to mention the $250k our state taxes kick in through a matching grant.

      Now you have a scenario where those who are passionate about the library can run it how they see fit. Raise the funds, set salaries, arrange for volunteer assistance, operate the facility, make repairs as needed, rent it out for private events… Similar to what many towns have already done.

      Then you could give the Library Director as big a raise as you’d like… or can afford.

      It’s a wonderful building: but I haven’t stepped foot in it since 1996… and I can’t really see myself going there for anything other than an alarm sounding or emergency as I’m a VOLUNTEER FIRE FIGHTER for the town.

  2. CM said:

    The article seems to suggest that Warren should be paying a lot more money, but I disagree. As someone who never made more than $35,000 in a year in my life — and who has survived on $15,000 for the last ten years — salaries of $51,000 to $140,000 seem quite generous. Indeed, those salaries that are over $100,000 should come down. A salary of $140,000 makes you a wealthy person, and I don’t see why any person working for the schools should be wealthy. It should also be pointed out that Warren has a lot of people in it making marginal incomes (much more so than most other communities), so Warren should not be expected to pay its officials a lot.

    The schism between rich and poor is growing in this country. While millions of people (like me) fall through the cracks, professionals of all types have an exaggerated idea of what they’re worth. If you are making $70,000 to $140,000 and think you are underpaid, your values are skewed. Try living in MY shoes for a month!

Top