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Top pay '12: School chief again leads Fairfield's public payroll

Updated 11:13 am, Thursday, January 24, 2013

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  • Supt. of Schools David Title topped the list of wage earners for 2012, with earnings of $283,920. Photo: Genevieve Reilly / Fairfield Citizen
    Supt. of Schools David Title topped the list of wage earners for 2012, with earnings of $283,920. Photo: Genevieve Reilly

 

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FAIRFIELD'S HIGHEST PAID The 25 highest-paid employees on Fairfield's public payroll (outside duty pay is in parentheses) for 2012 are: Superintendent of Schools David Title, $283,920 Police Lt. Christopher Tursi $191,404, ($50,104) Deputy Superintendent of Schools Karen Parks, 175,467 Police Lt. Thomas Mrozek, $168,888 ($19,314) Police Officer John Bucherati, $166,737 ($14,588) Fairfield Warde High School Headmaster James Coyne, $166,087 Assistant Fire Chief Chris Tracy, $165,760 Police Officer Seth Jenkins, $163,862 ($26,400) Police Lt. Jeff Block, $163,611 ($2,031) Police Lt. Keith Broderick, $163,324 ($20,340) Police Officer Gary Wikman, $161,335 ($43,867) Director of School Operations Thomas Cullen, $159,440 Police Officer Keith Perham, $158,841 ($57,291) Fairfield Woods Middle School Principal Gary Rosato, $158,788 Roger Ludlowe Middle School Principal Glenn Mackno, $157,803 Tomlinson Middle School Principal Connee Dawson, $156,732 Police Officer Kevin Wells, $156,577 ($31,404) Director of Special Educaton Andrea Leonardi, $156,441 Assistant Fire Chief George Gomola, $156,121 ($1,529) Police Lt. Michael Gagner, $155,062 Police Chief Gary MacNamara, $154,976 Assistant Fire Chief Scott Bisson, $154,146 ($1,042) Fire Chief Richard Felner, $153,817 Fairfield Ludlowe Headmaster Greg Hatzis, $152,327 Police Offcer Greg Gunter, $151,540 ($10,236)
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The top wages on Fairfield's public payroll for 2012 were paid to many familiar figures, with Superintendent of Schools David Title again leading the list. Last year, according to records released at the request of the Fairfield Citizen, Title was paid $283,920 compared to $273,736 in 2011.

The balance of the top 25 wage earners is populated by educators and police personnel, with a few firefighters thrown in for good measure. Besides the uniformed services, however, no employees on the municipal side of the fiscal ledger were among the 25 highest paid.

Police and firefighter salaries include overtime as well as outside duty pay. Outside duty earnings are paid by private contractors, not the town, while overtime and outside duty pay are not included in pension calculations.

Taking the number No. 2 spot on the overall payroll in 2012 was Police Lt. Christopher Tursi, who was paid $191,404. Of that, $50,104 was income from outside-duty jobs.

Board of Finance Chairman Thomas Flynn acknowledged that the annual list tends to spark a public debate over whether town and school system employees are overpaid.

"The question really is, what's the market rate?" Flynn said. "That always has to be taken into account. You don't want to be the market leader, but you don't want to be last, either."

Flynn said while he doesn't really know whether salaries paid by the Board of Education are competitive, the finance board did do a study about three or four years ago reviewing the salaries paid on the town employee side of the budget.

He said the study looked at wages and benefits.

"I believe what we found at the time was they were within the market," Flynn said. He added the study was done in order to have a benchmark to use during negotiations on new union contracts for town employees.

The chiefs of the Police and Fire departments were on the lower rungs of the pay list's top-25 slots, with Police Chief Gary MacNamara at No. 21, with compensation of $154,976, and Fire Chief Richard Felner at No. 23, with wages of $153,817.

First Selectman Michael Tetreau, the town's chief elected official, didn't crack the top-25 list, and even among the top 50 municipal employees -- excluding educators -- was ranked at No. 48 with earnings of $129,090 in 2012.

FAIRFIELD'S HIGHEST PAID

The 25 highest-paid employees on Fairfield's public payroll (outside duty pay is in parentheses) for 2012 are:

Superintendent of Schools David Title, $283,920

Police Lt. Christopher Tursi $191,404, ($50,104)

Deputy Superintendent of Schools Karen Parks, 175,467

Police Lt. Thomas Mrozek, $168,888 ($19,314)

Police Officer John Bucherati, $166,737 ($14,588)

Fairfield Warde High School Headmaster James Coyne, $166,087

Assistant Fire Chief Chris Tracy, $165,760

Police Officer Seth Jenkins, $163,862 ($26,400)

Police Lt. Jeff Block, $163,611 ($2,031)

Police Lt. Keith Broderick, $163,324 ($20,340)

Police Officer Gary Wikman, $161,335 ($43,867)

Director of School Operations Thomas Cullen, $159,440

Police Officer Keith Perham, $158,841 ($57,291)

Fairfield Woods Middle School Principal Gary Rosato, $158,788

Roger Ludlowe Middle School Principal Glenn Mackno, $157,803

Tomlinson Middle School Principal Connee Dawson, $156,732

Police Officer Kevin Wells, $156,577 ($31,404)

Director of Special Educaton Andrea Leonardi, $156,441

Assistant Fire Chief George Gomola, $156,121 ($1,529)

Police Lt. Michael Gagner, $155,062

Police Chief Gary MacNamara, $154,976

Assistant Fire Chief Scott Bisson, $154,146 ($1,042)

Fire Chief Richard Felner, $153,817

Fairfield Ludlowe Headmaster Greg Hatzis, $152,327

Police Offcer Greg Gunter, $151,540 ($10,236)