School employees dominate Top 100

Town employees making the big bucks in 2009 were more than likely to be police officers, firefighters or school employees, rather than those working in Town Hall.

According to a salary list released by the Town last week, there were nine town employees making more than $100,000, and the top 100 employees all made more than $65,000. Of those in the Top 100, only three employees were from Town Hall.

Those earning more than $100,000 increased by two in 2009, as there were but seven in 2008. In surrounding cities, the number of $100,000 earners tended to decrease in 2009 after being on the rise for about a decade.

The Top 100 is dominated mostly by school employees. There were 63 teachers and administrators in the top 100.

That was followed by 21 police officers and 10 firefighters.

Police salaries, however, include lucrative details that are often paid by private concerns and not by the Town. Details often act as a second job for police officers and officers often put in many extra hours to earn that money. In fact, details for private concerns actually make money for the Town, as 10 percent of that detail money goes to Town Hall.

The highest paid employee in Winthrop in 2009 was, again, School Superintendent Steve Jenkins.

Jenkins made $183,892 in 2009, though his actual salary is cemented at $166,125. He said that last year he had some significant vacation buy back and a retroactive raise, which is what bumped up his final pay temporarily to the $180,000 range.

Jenkins is on a contract that was inked in 2007 and runs through this year, as voted by the School Committee. That contract sets his wages and pay.

His salary does fall in line with that of most superintendents in the area. Because superintendents are in great demand and in short numbers statewide, the going price for a proven leader has gone up in the last decade.

Jenkins said he felt very fortunate to make the kind of money he does.

“I feel very fortunate to be a Superintendent of Schools and to make the salary and benefits that I make,” he told the Transcript. “I never dreamed in my wildest dreams I would make the kind of money I make. When I started as a teacher in 1972, I made $8,868 a year, and now my salary 38 years later is many times greater than that…I feel blessed, really. That’s all I can tell you.”

The second and third highest paid employees in 2009 were police officers David Lessard ($129,196) and Frank Scarpa Jr. ($117,569).

Fourth on the list was Fire Chief Paul Flanagan ($112,183) and rounding out the top five earners was firefighter Richard Swartz ($106,819).

All figures were reported from the Town using the federal W-2 tax form.

Salaries do not include the value of health benefits and pension plans.

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