Political Buzz

Talking WA politics.

NOTICE: Political Buzz has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved Political Buzz.
Visit the new section.

Who were the top paid Pierce County employees last year?

Post by John Henrikson / The News Tribune on April 7, 2011 at 7:22 am with 18 Comments »
April 6, 2011 6:24 pm

We’re working through our annual update of SoundInfo public employee pay databases. You’ll now find an updated database of Pierce County employee pay for 2010 here.

The whole idea of SoundInfo is to allow users to explore public information themselves, but here are a few interesting findings based on a quick analysis:

• The top paid employee once again was Dr. Miguel Balderrama, medical director at the Pierce County Jail ($184,406). County executive Pat McCarthy was second ($173,579).

• Other elected officials among the top 25 best paid employees were Prosecuting Attorney Mark Lindquist ($148,425), eight district court judges (all paid $141,322) and Sheriff Paul Pastor ($140,334). Further down the list were Assessor-Treasurer Dale Washam ($123,210), County Auditor Julie Anderson ($122,556) and County Council members ($111,689). (Superior court judges’ salaries are split between the state and the county).

• Dominating the top 25 were top administrators and sheriff’s and corrections managers. Three corrections lieutenants cracked the top 25 by earning more than $30,000 in overtime each.

• It appears fewer employees were in the “six-figure club” last year – 339 earned more than $100,000 – compared to 371 in 2009. (See Dave Wickert’s story from last year). The median pay for full-time employees ($64,937) for 2010 was also down from $69,398 in 2009. (One possible factor is that an extra pay period in 2009 boosted employee pay. Also, while employees received raises, those were offset by budget-saving furloughs in many cases.) Kris Sherman’s story late last year looked at county pay hikes in recent years.

Below is a table of the top 25 earners in the county last year. In coming days, we’ll look at other large public agencies, including the City of Tacoma, port, park and transit agencies.


RankNameJob TitleRegular PayTotal Pay
1Miguel A BalderramaPhysician/Medical Director $184,406$184,406
2Patrice A MccarthyExecutive $173,579$173,579
3Brian J ZieglerDirector-Pw & Utilities $172,380$172,380
4Patrick L KenneyDirector-Budget & Finance $168,958$168,958
5Kevin R PhelpsDeputy County Executive $151,222$151,222
6George W WalkDirector-Government Relations $149,875$149,875
7Mark E LindquistProsecuting Attorney $148,425$148,425
8Keri A Rawlings-RooneyExecutive Director $145,509$145,509
9Toby D RickmanDeputy Pw & Utilities Director$143,253$143,253
10Patrick OmalleyJudge-District Court $141,322$141,322
10David M KenworthyJudge-District Court $141,322$141,322
10James R HellerJudge-District Court $141,322$141,322
10Karla E Roehm-ButtorffJudge-District Court $141,322$141,322
10Franklin L DaccaJudge-District Court $141,322$141,322
10Judy R JaspricaJudge-District Court $141,322$141,322
10Margaret V RossJudge-District Court $141,322$141,322
10Jack F NevinJudge-District Court $141,322$141,322
11Robert S MaskoBureau Chief $140,546$140,546
11Richard D AdamsonBureau Chief $140,546$140,546
11David E StewartDirector-Human Services $140,546$140,546
12Paul A PastorSheriff $140,334$140,334
13Ki-Su WhitefordCorrectional Lieutenant $92,764$137,687
14Dawn L FarinaChief Of Staff-Pa $136,704$136,704
14Elizabeth R SawyersDirector-Human Resources $136,704$136,704
14Eileen W BissonUndersheriff $136,704$136,704
15Michael L SperlingCorrectional Lieutenant $101,651$136,011
16Louis A GengaCorrectional Lieutenant $99,357$135,180
17William P KellyCorrectional Captain $129,382$133,823
18Marvin M SpencerCorrectional Captain $129,644$133,786
19Mary E DickeSuperior Court Commissioner$133,579$133,579
19Robyn A LindsaySuperior Court Commissioner$133,579$133,579
19Diana L KieselSuperior Court Commissioner$133,579$133,579
19Mark L GelmanSuperior Court Commissioner$133,579$133,579
20Harry A SeeleyActing Gis Manager $133,472$133,472
21Allen P RoseExecutive Director $132,610$132,610
22Meagan M FoleySuperior Court Commissioner$132,478$132,478
23Patrick H OishiSuperior Court Commissioner$131,012$131,012
24Douglas W VanscoyChief Deputy Attorney $130,882$130,882
24Linda J GerullDirector-Information Technlogy$130,882$130,882
25Edward J SmithCaptain $130,034$130,801

Notes: The numbers represent a snapshot of current employees’ year-to-date total earnings at the final pay period of 2010. Employees who left during the year will not be represented.

Leave a comment Comments → 18
  1. Heck, the principal of an alternative small school makes 119,000 a year! Those earners arent bad!

  2. taxedenoughintacoma says:

    Stand by for the next request for a pay increase.

    Mr.Henrikson, Thanks for printing this story.

    And don’t forget all these positions have staff that report to them. Any wonder why more are employed in WA State, county and city governments than other sectors of the economy!!!

  3. ratujack says:

    It reads “We the people” They are stealing us blind. This is abuse beyond my earlier wildest dreams. What has happened to our country? I smell a Civil War

  4. Can we see a list of top paid JBLM officers ?

  5. John Henrikson says:

    Mr. Nachos,

    As it happens, I am working on getting federal employee data. But Defense Department, FBI, CIA and IRS employees seem to be screened under a FOIA exemption. We do have the military salary schedule here:
    http://www.thenewstribune.com/soundinfo/militarypay/

  6. GHTaxPayer says:

    Considering the massive deficits and tax shortfalls caused by years of Democrat mismanagement and overspending, no Pierce Co. employee should make over $75k until ALL of the deficits are paid off.

    And then we’d have enough money to keep all of the schools open.

  7. Love these TEAhaddists bait articles btw. Thanks for the link!

  8. can’t figure out how to make that thing show pay scale for generals… those are the guys supposed to be in charge of the mentally unstable headline grabbing soldiers no?

  9. Most of these jobs are high end jobs…what do you expect people? It’s the mentality of people like those in these posts that say they should make what most of us make. Not so. Why get an education or accumulate years of experience for jobs like these to only get paid CRAP wages (gov or private, tax funded or not)?

    They go to school for YEARS, take out school loans, and bust their ass to get to where they are. If you want to keep talent, then you have to stay within what the market dictates and I doubt the market says that an Medical Examiner should make below $100,000. And believe me, an ME knows their sh*t. It is what it is…there is nothing to see here folks.

  10. Not a single evil union member on the list, what are the righties going to do about that?

  11. John Henrikson says:

    Re: military pay tables.

    Officers are O-1 though O-10; top general at JBLM would be a lt. general O-9.

  12. taxedenoughintacoma says:

    Do you wonder why the public worker unions don’t complain about the salariers?? Half of them were union members to public worker unions and union bosses. It’s inbred in this group.

  13. OK so a Lt. General with 38 years of service earns about $197,736.00 a year, not counting the socialist health benefits. Thanks Mr. Henrikson !

  14. tacoman1 says:

    seems like we are getting a good deal if you compare these salaries to those of the pierce transit drivers whom actually provide a service.

  15. I don’t believe they are overpaid. As previous comment, they have worked hard to get where they are. I should of did the work earlier in my life and maybe I would be where they are sooner. Why is everyone so down on people that make more than they do? I just kick myself for not working hard enough & continuing my education!! It’s all in our hands how our future unfolds. Take responsibility for the wages you earn now. If you don’t like it, go back to school & better yourself! We live in a society of whiners.

  16. Bob_Boblaw says:

    First of all this is only my opinion…but I don’t think ANY local government employee should make over 100k. I don’t know about anyone else but I might be able to live comfortably making around 80 thousand… by this list it would save over 1.5 million or just a thought we could actually use that money to say fix potholes and other things around town that need attention.

    And I think pay raises for public employees should have to be approved by a vote of the people they work for…

    then again that’s just my opinion

  17. Bob_Boblaw says:

    I don’t think any local government employee should make over 100k a year. I mean I don’t know about any of you… but I think I might be able to live modestly at say 80k a year… by this list that would save taxpayers over 1.5 million or we could use that money to say fix the potholes or other things around town that neet attention and would improve the city for ALL of us.

    Not only that but I don’t thinks this includes the benefits that they recieve either.

    I think any public employee pay raises should have to be approved by the voters that they work for.

    then again thats just my opinion

  18. robert22 says:

    Come on TNT. Post the salaries of the Fire District Employees throughout the County. You will be very suprised to see the base salary and the salary with overtime.

*
We welcome comments. Please keep them civil, short and to the point. ALL CAPS, spam, obscene, profane, abusive and off topic comments will be deleted. Repeat offenders will be blocked. Thanks for taking part and abiding by these simple rules.

Follow the comments on this post with RSS 2.0