City Salaries Werner, safety workers top paid |

City Salaries Werner, safety workers top paid

John Barrette

City Manager Larry Werner’s total compensation package will crowd the $200,000 mark this year despite a base-pay boost that won’t top 2 percent.

Werner, who works for the Carson City Board of Supervisors, manages other city government employees with the exception of those elected. For example, Sheriff Ken Furlong is elected and his pay is outside Werner’s purview. Furlong’s pay and benefits totaled $184,682.46 in 2012, according to the city.

City government provided past compensation data for top employees plus budgetary assumptions on city pay for fiscal year 2013-14, which begins July 1, and Werner said he can’t get more than a 2 percent boost. In 2012, his base pay was listed as $138,593, total pay was at $4,860 more for car and telephone allowances, and his benefits were $48,034.49. That means overall compensation was $191,487.49.

“I’m under contract,” Werner said, “so mine doesn’t change a lot.”

Werner said he will get whatever raise classified employees wind up receiving, which is at 2 percent in budget assumptions but must be finalized by the Board of Supervisors in June.

He also said many city government pay levels and transitions are established via negotiated contracts with associations representing employee groups. The city deals with six associations, with another on the horizon, he noted.

Public-safety personnel dominated compensation packages, trailing Werner’s by just a few thousand dollars. Among them:

Fire Battalion Chiefs Robert Charles and John Arneson, $188,589.06 and $188,148.22, respectively; Undersheriff Steve Albertsen, $187,941.99; Fire Chief Stacey Giomi, $187,628.51; and two more fire battalion chiefs, Eric Bero at $187,085.52 and Daniel Shirey at $186,925.41.

Public Works Director Andrew Burnham came eighth on the 2012 list covering overall compensation, but his base pay was higher than anyone above him except Werner. It was $134.651.12 last year, yet his total compensation package was down the list because his benefits were lower than those in public safety.

Furlong’s base pay and total pay were $111,890.20 and $120,325.22, respectively, feeding into the overall compensation previously cited. His own total was followed by those for two of his chief deputies. Both of them, along with Undersheriff Albertsen, got more in base pay than did the sheriff. Albertsen, trailing only Werner and the two top battalion chiefs in overall compensation, had received $121,378.40 in base pay.

The pair of chief deputies are Jack Freer and Raymont Saylo, each with base pay exceeding $115,000 and total compensation of $182,404.91 and $181,303.84, respectively.

Werner said Furlong has authority to set salaries for his top six deputies. The city manager also said city department heads could set them for two each, but “we have not done that in the departments.”

Judge John Tatro came in 12th on the list, earning $124,888.40 in base pay as a justice of the peace and $173,532.76 in overall compensation. Tatro also is an elected official.

Parks & Recreation Department Director Roger Moellendorf, next on the list, last year earned total compensation of $171.906.30, with $123,037.20 of that base pay.

District Attorney Neil Rombardo, another elected official, came next with base pay of $125,708.40 and overall compensation of $170,697.04.

No. 15 on the list was James Edwin, general manager of the Subconservancy District, which handles water matters. His base pay was nearly $115,000 and overall compensation was $166,559.85.

No. 25 on last year’s pay and compensation list was Marena Works, then Carson City’s health director, but she will jump next year into the top ranks by virtue of being Werner’s choice as his new deputy city manager at base pay of $125,000. Her base pay last year as health chief was less than $101,000; her overall 2012 compensation was $147.206.70.

Werner said the city will conduct a nationwide and regional search for Works’ replacement.

“We have just started the process,” he said.

Werner said city government, slowly crawling out of the recession, trimmed staff and held down personnel costs during fiscal years 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12 to weather a curtailed tax receipts storm.

“It all went to zero for three years,” he said.

The city will have 417 full-time-equivalent employees funded by General Fund tax receipts of about $60 million in fiscal year 2013-14, but more than 550 when one includes those funded by grants and other sources. Raises built into budget assumptions, some of them by contract, range from 2 percent to 5 percent.

Werner also said the city is in the median range for personnel costs in Nevada. In addition, he said, a consultant is conducting a compensation study, with expectations it might be done in July, for the Board of Supervisors to consider future needs and options.