I just read the Surprise Independent article by Jason Stone [“Wingenroth among top paid city workers,” Aug. 16], which provides an overview of the annual salaries and stipends for top paid city workers.
In a word, I am surprised. If I’m in the minority in seeing these salaries as excessive, so be it, but I hope that’s not the case. My lithmus test is whether Surprise resident taxpayers, who have non government jobs of similar role/responsibility, earn equivalent pay.
Many of us have watched the pay escalation of local government workers and shook our heads in amazement. I have watched this take place in three cities we lived in over the past couple of decades.
The article closes by stating that “the average city of Surprise salary in 2022 was $56,901 and the median was $52,831, and that was 24% below national average and 3% under Arizona state average.” So does this mean we should brace for even higher salaries?
According to the tabulated data, the top 27 earners average $199,153 a year. That is roughly four times the average city employees salary. Not knowing the complete breakdown and number of total workers, it’s hard to say if this seems appropriate but, at first blush, seems disproportionate.
Lastly, and perhaps most important, the article does not cover who is in charge of establishing and approving these salaries? When I see a reference to “govsalaries.com” being used as the reference standard, the “fox in the hen house” immediately comes to mind.