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Comptroller's Office Releases Review of "$100,000 Club"

“$100,000 Club” Review Completed

Soaring overtime, skyrocketing health care costs, and paying 67% of an employee’s salary in fringe benefits leads to 723 workers costing taxpayers more than $100,000 per position

(Buffalo) –Erie County Comptroller Stefan I. Mychajliw announced the completion of a review of personnel costs that shows taxpayers spent $100,000 or more to pay 723 full-time employees for salaries, benefits, and overtime.  Data was compiled from 2012 payroll records.

That means out of Erie County’s 4,187 full-time employees, almost 20% of Erie County’s full-time workforce costs taxpayers more than $100,000 each to fund.  Personnel costs constitute nearly $326 million, which is 29% of the entire Erie County budget.

One of the goals of the review is to assist the Legislature and County Executive in identifying the negative impact of personnel and overtime costs, and have a better understanding of how even low-paying salaries can bust budgets with costs of more than $100,000 each.  Some of the findings include:

  • 723 Erie County employees cost taxpayers $100,000 or more in salary, benefits, and overtime
  • Of those workers in the “$100,000 Club” 79% received overtime pay
  • Overtime exceeded 50% of the base salary for 219 workers
  • A total of 36 workers doubled their base salary in overtime
  • One Deputy Sheriff-Officer earned 186% of his base salary in overtime, while another earned 170%
  • The two Deputy-Sheriff Officers earned $94,923 and $84,485 respectively in overtime
  • One registered nurse earned 157% of their base salary in overtime, racking up $85,301 in overtime
  • The lowest paid employee on the “$100,000 Club” list earned $34,962 
  • Nine workers in the “$100,000 Club” earned base salaries in the $30,000 range

Based on the findings of this “$100,000 Club” review, overtime costs across Erie County government and how it negatively impacts the budget will be placed on the Erie County Comptroller’s Office 2013 Audit Plan.

The “$100,000 Club” review included the cost of salaries, fringe benefits, overtime, bonuses paid to workers, arbitration and grievance awards, and accrued time off cash-outs for each Erie County employee.

“It is possible to reduce personnel, make tough cuts, and put a significant dent in budget gaps.  County leaders should review personnel and overtime costs first, before attempting to hurt families with potential property tax increases.  Taxpayers need to be protected above all else,” said Comptroller Mychajliw.

Release of this audit comes on the heels of the Erie County Legislature passing Comptroller Mychajliw’s “Reform Plan” that cuts what could be considered lower-level patronage positions with less stringent civil-service requirements, adds professional accountants, and reduces his own budget by $98,125.

Click here to read the Review