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)
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)