Meridian Star

Local News

November 22, 2009

Top 5 City Earners

Salaries obtained from FOI request


    Barry has the fifth highest salary in the city. The mayor's salary of $80,000 is set by the city council. As mayor, Barry is the city's Chief Executive Officer. Where the CAO oversees day-to-day operations of the city, working to alleviate current problems, the mayor looks at the bigger picture, making plans for the city's long-term betterment and growth. Once the mayor comes up with a plan for the city, she works to get city council approval for whatever parts of the plan might require it. The mayor also has the power to veto city council decisions.

    Barry said she feels the city's department heads earn every penny they get. "These department heads are responsible for a lot and we are so lucky to have their experience, their expertise, and their knowledge," she said.

    "People will look at these salaries and say, 'Oh, it's so much,' but they don't see the long hours and nights these guys are working," said McDonald, adding that the department heads would be paid more to perform the same services if they worked in the private sector.


    New Positions

    The 10th and 15th highest salaries are both for positions created by the new administration.

     Jeff Homan, with the 10th highest salary at $74,900.80 a year, is the director of governmental and legislative affairs. In that position, he serves as a liaison between the city administration and the state legislature as well as a grant writer.

    Homan represents the city to the legislative community and to other cities' administrations, and uses his knowledge of legislative activity to advise the administration on public policy. Along with writing grants, he searches for grant opportunities and ensures that grants are used properly once they are attained.

    Barry said the city plans to make use of more grant-writers, but that those writers will not be employed by the city. The administrative costs of writing the grants, she said, will be paid for from the grants themselves. Once this process begins, it will be overseen by Homan.

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