MANSFIELD — All of Richland County’s 50 top-paid puplic employees grossed more than $73,000 in 2012.
At the top of the pay list was former Children Services Director Randy Parker — who worked less than half a year, but had his earnings boosted by a severance payout after it was announced last spring he would be leaving in August.
Next came five county judges, most earning $121,350 – the salary set for common pleas judges under state law.
One judge, Domestic Relations Court Judge Heather Lowenkamp Cockley, earned $1,000 less. That was because she opted to take county health insurance rather than the buyout plan, according to the county auditor’s office.
Richland County’s payroll budgets are helped by the fact that the state helps support salaries for judges and county clerks of court. The county’s direct local share is only $35,000 annually for each judge, with the balance provided by the Ohio Supreme Court.
Salaries for all other elected officials — and most county workers — comes more directly from the county tax base.
Some county employees on the Top 50 list — including Parker — had pay bolstered by retirement, severance payouts or overtime.
During 2012, Richland County paid $560,312 worth of overtime — down from $643,338 in 2011.
Top in overtime among county workers in 2012 was Sheriff’s Sergeant Timothy J. Shook, $15,162. Twenty-seven county workers earned more than $5,000 apiece in overtime last year, compared to 23 the year before.
Total gross earnings for approximately 1,500 county workers on the list (including some part-time workers such as directors paid to serve on certain agency boards) totaled $46.03 million last year. That was less than 1 percent higher than the $45.6 million total for 2011.
County Commissioner Ed Olson said employees under commissioners’ control, including the heads of those departments, went to a 35-hour paid work week or had salaries frozen a few years back.
“With one or two exceptions, all general fund offices were downsized starting in 2009, and employees went to a 35-hour paid work week. All of the unions but two agreed to concessions, frozen salaries, and reduced paid hours. The two that refused concessions had layoffs,” he said. The 35-hour week continued in 2010.
“All departments under the commissioners and the other elected officials were returned to a 40-hour paid work week in 2011 and 2012 but without pay increases,” Olson said.
Some isolated pay adjustments may have been made by other elected officials over the past few years, he said. But, as a whole, there were no across the board pay increases between 2009-12.
“We are budgeting for pay raises in 2013 that will be in the 2.5- to 3-percent range. Yet, remember that this would be the first salary adjustment for many people in four years, and after losing 12.5 percent of their income in 2009 and 2010,” Olson said.
Several elected officials – including county commissioners – didn’t make the list of the top 50 county workers in gross earnings for 2012.
Comments from MNJ story
Peggy Goldberg · Top Commenter · Ships Captain at Maersk Line Shipping Companya lot of these paper pushers need a massive cut in pay. Sit on ones keishka pushing buttons or paperwork and man ya have the mother load in salary. Some of these RCCS, Newhope, JFS people should not be making that kind of money. Absolutely ridiculous. I know what why one place needs a levy, must be time for pay raises, bonuses or they’ve used up money that should be spent on the people they have in their care.
The most interesting thought in this is not that these Judges get 6 figure salaries, it’s that there’s a few who do not serve the Community in it’s BEST interest who run unopposed. I can’t see why anyone would not want to challenge that kind of salary?
Then there’s the fact they use 46 MILLION on 1,500 total employees , that’s $30,666 annual salary avg. Boy, these people who work for us have it pretty good, don’t they? Then you add in a bad case of nepotism and you’ll find families raking in on the business, that’s a problem! Breeds corruption, like we see it today. Funny thing as they are imploding as more folks leave or refuse their snatch and grab programs that take advantage of disabilities that include drug and alcohol abuse.