Service-safety director again Findlay’s top-paid employee

By JOY BROWN
STAFF WRITER

Paul Schmelzer, Findlay’s service-safety director, retained the top spot on city government’s top-paid list for 2013.

He earned $120,016, which is $2,219 more than he did during his first year as an administrator in 2012.

Mayor Lydia Mihalik said he didn’t get a raise, so the difference may be attributed to the calendar: city workers are paid every two weeks.

Law Director Don Rasmussen placed second in 2013, earning $100,312. Municipal Court Administrator Dave Beach was third, at $98,190.

Combined, the top 20 last year earned $1.6 million in base salaries and extras such as overtime, cellphone allowances and longevity incentives. Compared to 2012, the total was $14,920 more.

Mayor Mihalik did not make the list, but eight firefighters and seven police officers did.

Half of those on the top-20 list earned overtime, and 11 received longevity pay. Five took advantage of contractual buybacks of accrued hours.

Mihalik said Schmelzer, serving as the director of service, safety and engineering, is well worth the expense.

“Combining the positions of service and safety director and filling that position with Paul was one of the best decisions I have ever made in this office,” Mihalik said. “Not only did we save a significant amount of money, but his experience and knowledge, as well as his ability to relate to our department heads and supervisors, is invaluable.”

Firefighter Steven Rupe earned the most overtime last year, at $29,098. Administrators said the amount corresponds with his extra duties as a mechanic, is budgeted in advance, and still saves the city money compared to when the work was contracted out.

Rupe in 2012 earned $12,676 in overtime, but assumed the mechanic duties in the latter part of the year.

Police Sgt. Jim Mathias was the second-highest overtime earner, at $12,676. He earned about the same amount in 2012. His position allows him to get first crack at overtime opportunities.

The retirements of two top earners last year caused some shuffling on the earnings list. Randy Greeno, former water pollution control supervisor, retired, as did former computer services supervisor Carmen Bremer.

Earnings for city employees overall remained fairly stable last year, as city leaders continued to take a cautious approach to the improving economy.

“The last time nonunion employees received raises was during the last year of (former Mayor) Pete Sehnert’s term” in 2011, Mihalik said.

“A discussion of salary increases will be had toward the end of this year, when we have a better idea of what our revenues will look like,” Mihalik said.

The fire union’s three-year contract doesn’t guarantee any raises, but leaves open the possibility for 2015.

“Hopefully we will see a more consistent picture than we have in the past and that will assist us in making prudent decisions regarding salary increases,” Mihalik said.

FINDLAY’S 20 TOP-PAID EMPLOYEES FOR 2013

1.) PAUL SCHMELZER, service-safety director
BASE PAY: $120,016
ACTUAL PAY: $120,016
EXTRAS AND OVERTIME: none

2.) DONALD RASMUSSEN, law director
BASE PAY: $100,312
ACTUAL PAY: $100,312
EXTRAS AND OVERTIME: none

3.) DAVID BEACH, Findlay Municipal Court administrator
BASE PAY: $96,990
ACTUAL PAY: $98,190
EXTRAS AND OVERTIME: Cellphone

4.) BRIAN SANDERS, fire battalion chief
BASE PAY: $70,433
ACTUAL PAY: $93,776
EXTRAS AND OVERTIME: Contractual buyback, overtime, other

5.) STEVEN RUPE, firefighter and department mechanic
BASE PAY: $57,516
ACTUAL PAY: $89,215
EXTRAS AND OVERTIME: Longevity, overtime

6.) THOMAS LONYO, fire chief
BASE PAY: $84,281
ACTUAL PAY: $87,301
EXTRAS AND OVERTIME: Longevity, cellphone

7.) GREGORY HORNE, police chief
BASE PAY: $84,281
ACTUAL PAY: $86,621
EXTRAS AND OVERTIME: Longevity

8.) GINGER-MARIE SAMPSON, deputy auditor
BASE PAY: $79,289
ACTUAL PAY: $80,589
EXTRAS AND OVERTIME: Longevity

9.) RALPH BROWN, firefighter
BASE PAY: $64,732
ACTUAL PAY: $80,164
EXTRAS AND OVERTIME: Longevity, overtime, other

10.) JAMES MATHIAS, police sergeant
BASE PAY: $67,033
ACTUAL PAY: $79,959
EXTRAS AND OVERTIME: Overtime, other

11.) JEFFREY NEWCOMER, Water Treatment Plant supervisor
BASE PAY: $76,627
ACTUAL PAY: $78,203
EXTRAS AND OVERTIME: Cellphone, other

12.) RICHARD CLARK, fire battalion chief
BASE PAY: $70,122
ACTUAL PAY: $76,819
EXTRAS AND OVERTIME: Longevity, overtime, other

13.) SEAN YOUNG, police captain
BASE PAY: $75,379
ACTUAL PAY: $76,679
EXTRAS AND OVERTIME: Longevity

14.) MATTHEW TRAVER, fire battalion chief
BASE PAY: $70,230
ACTUAL PAY: $76,628
EXTRAS AND OVERTIME: Longevity, overtime, other

15.) ROBERT RING, police lieutenant
BASE PAY: $74,038
ACTUAL PAY: $76,337
EXTRAS AND OVERTIME: Contractual buyback, overtime, other

16.) JOHN DUNBAR, police lieutenant
BASE PAY: $73,549
ACTUAL PAY: $76,161
EXTRAS AND OVERTIME: Contractual buyback, other

17.) RYAN DOE, police sergeant
BASE PAY: $67,613
ACTUAL PAY: $76,048
EXTRAS AND OVERTIME: Overtime, other

18.) MATTHEW MYERS, fire captain
BASE PAY: $63,810
ACTUAL PAY: $75,796
EXTRAS AND OVERTIME: Contractual buyback, overtime, other

19.) SCOTT LOWRY, police captain
BASE PAY: $75,574
ACTUAL PAY: $75,784
EXTRAS AND OVERTIME: Miscellaneous

20.) SCOTT LEFFEL, fire captain
BASE PAY: $64,680
ACTUAL PAY: $74,167
EXTRAS AND OVERTIME: Longevity, overtime, other

 

Brown: 419-427-8496
Send an E-mail to Joy Brown
Twitter: @CourierJoy

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