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Folsom's top wage earner is manager

Miller makes $212,024 and police chief makes $210,381 annually
By: Laura Newell Telegraph staff writer
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Some Folsom residents are questioning the salaries of city employees and how they compare with other areas. Kerry Miller, Folsom city manager, earns $212,024. His deferred compensation, to be collected after retirement, is $20,142 with allowances of $9,600 which includes $6,000 in auto, $1,200 in technology and $2,400 in “other.” Sam Spiegel, Folsom police chief (before retirement), earns $210,381. His deferred compensation is $12,810 with allowances of $2,050 including a vehicle provided, $1,200 in technology and $850 in uniforms. Bruce Cline, Folsom city attorney, earns $197,134. His deferred compensation is $12,814 with allowances of $7,200 including $6,000 in auto and $1,200 in technology. Dan Haverty, Folsom fire chief (before retirement), earns $184,033. His deferred compensation is $11,622 with allowances of $1,950 including a vehicle provided, $1,200 in technology and $750 in uniforms. Evert Palmer, Folsom assistant city manager and administrative services director, earns $166,154. His deferred compensation is $10,800 with allowances of $6,000 including $4,800 in auto and $1,200 in technology. All salary information is posted at folsom.ca.us/depts/human_resources/salary.asp. “When we look for our comparables the general goal is to place ourselves at the median of our comparable market,” said John W. Spittler, City of Folsom human resources director of five years. Kathleen Boyd, 55, is a Folsom resident of 20 years and a member of the American River Republican Women’s group. “I think the public has a right to know what the government makes because it’s the public’s money and tells us how our taxes are being spent,” Boyd said. “Personally, I think it’s a little high. I think anywhere from $90,000 to $100,000 is reasonable. Especially since they get full retirement and health care for the rest of their life off of the taxpayers.” Business owner Robert Giacometti, 52, has lived in Folsom for more than 20 years. “Given these economic times, it’s probably human nature that people want to look at public sector salaries,” said Giacometti. “I think we need to be cautious that the public sector employees aren’t made to be scapegoats. But, I still think we need to reevaluate the compensation program regarding salaries, pension and other benefits.” Spittler said for the most part, city employees’ salaries are decided through the collective bargaining process. “Executive compensation is resolved outside of the collective bargaining process, but with the same attention to comparability in the market and within the region,” Spittler said. In comparison, according to auburn.ca.gov/services/AdminServ/Docs/CWPayscale2010.pdf, the city of Auburn executive management employees are paid as follows: city manager $132,372, police chief $133,344, fire chief $122,196, public works director $124,032, and administrative services director $123,468. Auburn has a population of 14,000. According to Judy LaPorte, director of administrative services, the City of Rocklin executive management employees are paid as follows: city Manager Carlos Urrutia, as of Dec. 10, 2009, is paid $111.91 per hour part time; Police Chief Mark Siemens is paid $95 per hour part time; Fire Chief Bill Mikesell is paid a yearly salary of $188,692; City Attorney Russell Hildebrand is paid a yearly salary of $209,629; Former Assistant City Manager Terry Richardson earned $80/hour working part time. He is now officially retired. “The city (of Folsom) is always very conscience on comparables in local government,” Spittler said. “In terms of negotiation, we are very careful in looking at other jurisdictions to make sure that we are properly placed in the market. We are conscience of the regional comparables and we try to place ourselves appropriately within those.” Giacometti said he was not concerned with what he sees upfront. “I don’t see anything that is out of line, but collectively I think there could be some restructuring,” Giacometti said. “It’s the things that aren’t reported that are troubling me.”