Tuesday, April 30, 2013

City, county have more high-paid staff than CMS

If you want to make a six-figure salary working for local government,  your odds are better with the city of Charlotte or Mecklenburg County than with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

According to the updated city payroll posted late last week,  Charlotte currently has 162 people earning $100,000 or more,  with six topping $200,000.  With a work force of 6,649,  that means 2.4 percent of employees have cracked the six-figure mark.

Mecklenburg County has 4,518 people on its current payroll,  with 93 hitting the $100,000 mark (three above $200,000).  That's about 2 percent at six figures.

The CMS payroll also shows 93 people making $100,000 or more in total compensation.  But since two principals hit that mark with bonuses,  the more accurate comparison might be 91 with six-figure salaries.  Either way,  it comes to about half a percent of the 18,665 employees.

I'm not trying to make a case that anyone deserves a raise or a cut.  I've just been looking at these numbers for several years,  driven partly by persistent questions about whether CMS spends too much on top administrators.  Sometimes those questions come from Mecklenburg County commissioners, who provide money for administrative salaries.

Superintendent Heath Morrison has the highest salary among the three local bodies, at $288,000 a year. But his inner circle quickly drops,  with Deputy Superintendent Ann Clark next at $190,000.

Jean Melvin,  medical director for MeckLINK,  is the highest-paid person in the county database at $260,000 a year,  followed by County Manager Harry Jones at just over $246,000.  Jones is supported by three general managers,  earning from $187,000 to $203,000.

Ron Carlee,  the new city manager,  is listed at $245,000,  with Deputy City Manager Ronald Kimble at $212,000.

On the opposite end of the pay scale,  it's also less lucrative to serve on the school board than the other governing bodies.  County commissioners' chair Pat Cotham is listed at $29,665 a year,  with other commissioners at $23,732.

The school board chair gets $16,386  (oddly,  it's Ericka Ellis-Stewart, the 2012 chair,  who's listed in that post now)  while other members get $12,605.

City council members aren't listed in the payroll,  but best I can tell from the city web site,  the mayor gets $22,000 with $14,800 in expense and auto allowances,  while council members get $17,000 in pay and $9,800 in allowances.


Anonymous said...

How did those principals earn bonuses? There always seems to be confusion when they say there's not a bonus program for principals.

CharlotteObserver said...

The School Board is just the training salary for going into more lucrative positions, so sure it is less.

Ann Doss Helms said...

6:12, I don't think there's an across-the-board bonus program for principals, but they're eligible for some of the same programs as their teachers, such as TIF-LEAP, strategic staffing and Project LIFT. I wrote a bit about that recently:

Anonymous said...

As it should be.

Anonymous said...

The money is not in salary within CMS disclosed. Its in the back room deals with contracts handed out to services provided to CMS. Everyone knows this please wake up!