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Thursday, July 16, 2009

No wonder the City is going broke, part 2

Here is a full list of the City salaries just released. It's public record.

You may need to download the free Excel Viewer to see it. That is

The condensed list that the Biscayne Times has in PDF form is here.

For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing - only through social media. Not copying and pasting.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would just like to point out that pretty much everyone in that list is Non-Union
They are upper level "suits"

July 16, 2009 5:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting the list. Union or non-union, this must be stopped!

July 16, 2009 6:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yummy pensions, too.

July 16, 2009 8:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've spent some time looking at this data. The facts are that of the people making $75,000 or more, excluding special pays, 253 are not in a union and 1,026 are in the fire, police and general employees union.

Of those that make more than $100,000, 378 are in unions (INCLUDING 266 IN THE FIRE UNION!) and 138 are non union.

The average salaries are not much different between union and non union.

This is outrageous! I am not voting for any commissioner that gets union endorsements!

July 16, 2009 10:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot Grape, I have always wondered about the makeup of the city staff and compensations.

$398,733,527.20 pay for 3,694 City of Miami employees. That is an average of $107,940.85. Do you get your taxes worth of customer services? Is this not another proof of a Banana republic?

July 16, 2009 11:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are 675 fire-rescue officers in the fire department. 468 make more than $75,000 per year and that is without their special comp. That mean there are probably 600 that make more than $75,000 per year with their special pay.

That is ridiculous. How can the city ever affod this? These people work 2 days a week! What's with the city?

Cops have a much more dangerous job and are paid much less than the fire fighters and have to work 5 days a week.

July 17, 2009 12:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fire fighters that get paid more where paid that much because of overtime. Read the biscane article please.
Alsojust because they are fire and police does not make them union.

July 17, 2009 8:52 AM  
Anonymous Maria said...

The irony of these posts is too much. If Slick Sanchez would have gotten ANY endorsement then you would all cheer for the ex-cop turned lobbyist and say it was proof that people want progress. But since Regalado got the endorsement then it’s bad. The bottom line is that EVERYONE who wants what is best for the City has endorsed Regalado and the only people backing no brain Sanchez are Manny Diaz’s buddies ad the Marlins.

July 17, 2009 9:06 AM  
Anonymous Michelle Niemeyer said...

Looking at these numbers, does it now make sense to some of you why at the CGPHA meeting at the sailing club Regalado said he would not cut the pay of firemen and police officer, or as he put it, "Da Workers"? Meanwhile, he promised to cut 20% of "Da Bureaucrats." Who are they, and with their lower salaries, how much of a difference could it make? Could it be because he was making promises he could not keep to get endorsements that give him campaign services and publicity? If he does not keep those promises, he is a liar and a user. If he does keep them, what does it say about his commitment to the residents who are paying these expenses?

Also, consider whether the numbers in this spreadsheet include the $92M in pension costs we are expected to have to pay next year. How many of you will ever see a pension, yet a huge percentage of the budget is going for pensions for people who can retire early and could have a whole other career.

It makes me wish when I was in high school and considering career options, my parents had said, "forget college, Michelle, become a firefighter."

July 17, 2009 9:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"da workers"
Interesting you take a pot shot at his accent. Does it make him less intelligent?

July 17, 2009 10:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yet in the AFL-CIO Union debate Sanchez proclaimed himself a former Union officer and how he will protect the unions and continue to provide everything they need.

July 17, 2009 10:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Union also endorsed Frank Carollo (check out his contributors!) who's address is unknown (house looks abandoned and is now starting to get work done); Manolo Reyes, Angel Gonzalez's buddy. They made a safe choice with Michelle Spence-Jones and Tomas Regalado and betting on getting their way with Carollo and Reyes. We all know they supported Marc Sarnoff. All it takes is three votes.

July 17, 2009 10:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is what I like to see - Putting this blog to good use. Keep up the good work Grapevine.

July 17, 2009 11:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best argument yet for the Grove to secede from the city. It's total bull%$#%
that this can't be done. We should be up in arms, protesting in the streets!
We have the worst schools in the nation, the most corrupt police force in the nation, the most corrupt city government in the nation, and the highest property taxes!!Arn't you people embarrassed??? When are we going to take to the streets?

July 17, 2009 12:02 PM  
Anonymous Michelle Niemeyer said...

Anon, 10:08, you're right. It was an unfair potshot. And no, Regalado's accent is no reflection of his intelligence, nor is his inability to communicate clearly in English (and I don't mean due to his accent, I mean due to the fact you can listen to what he said and come away thinking, "Huh, what did he just say?") And THAT, I believe, is a reflection of Regalado's ability to represent our City to the State, the rest of our country, and internationally, which is an important part of the job.

July 17, 2009 12:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder if Manny Diaz recived the endorsement of the Police or Fire unions when he ran twice for Mayor?
He has had 8 years to renegotiate contracts and to reduce city employees salaries by a much needed substantial amount.
Every city should declare bankruptcy and renegotiate all contracts, especially police, fire and pensions.
Miami should look hard at all the salaries over $100K and cut them by a significant amount not just 5%.
I find it difficult to believe that Commissioners and Mayors receive a lifetime pension and health insurance after serving only 8 years.
I suspect that any retired commissioners getting elected to be Mayor will be double dipping with his pension and health package. This too should be eliminated.
Harry Emilio Gottlieb

July 17, 2009 12:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lets not forget where this starts. Over paid City Commissioners with Pensions after working only 8 years??!! How can we expect these Politicians to not overcompensate their employees when they themselves are overcompensated. Pensions for City Commissioners must STOP right NOW.

July 17, 2009 12:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I agree with you 100%! Also did you know that we pay for the pensions? Commissioners and the Mayor do NOT contribute a dime to their pensions. Paid for by the taxpayer. Watch, I bet Commissioner Sarnoff will take the lead on this and surrender his pension to show he is serious about cleaning up the City and cutting waste. Their pension plan is in itself an outrage! Take a very close look at the other pension plans the City Executives have; very lucrative. Maybe Grape will do a story on this obscene cost?

July 17, 2009 1:00 PM  
Blogger Pogonip said...

Do the firefighters still work 24 hrs on, 48 off? That's what leads to excessive overtime. It's a throwback to the old days and has outlived its usefulness as a staffing method. There's no reason firefighters can't work 8 hour shifts like police, nurses, doctors, ambulance personnel, etc.

Of course, firefighters won't like to change - most of them are holding down a second job.

July 17, 2009 4:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pogonip: Good point.

July 17, 2009 5:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 8:52 - I did the numbers and I purposely excluded overtime. If I included overtime the firefighters get paid even more. Did you look at the list and see that officers are paid overtime? Firefighters with a base salary of $150,000 are getting overtime! The numbers also don't include the value of the SUV's they are provided by the city! That would show them even richer in the analysis.

I don't know what Biscayne Times did, but I know what I did.

It is time to end the stranglehold of the unions have on the city. We are going broke while they are getting rich. I WILL NOT support any candidate that gets the endorsement of the Fire, Police or General Employees union. I've had it!

July 17, 2009 5:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Michelle, you should be ashamed of yourself. You are an attorney and you know better than to make derogatory comments like "Da Worker". Very unprofessional. Harry, the same goes for you with your double dipping comments. You two really love slinging it, don't you? I hear wedding bells for you two. You both share so much passion for your candidates, among other things.

July 17, 2009 5:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, it starts with people wanting to be elected so they kowtow to the unions. Then they get in and give the unions what they want. While they're at it, they give themselves a little something.

Let's get rid of the elected officials pensions - that will save us about $1.5 million a year.

But after that, lets get the unions, especially the fire union, to take a 10% pay cut that will save us over $30 million a year.

And don't cry that they have a dangerous job. Firefighters and police are decent people, yes, but they don't show up on any list of the most dangerous jobs.

One of the guys on the list is a firefighter who's been with the city a couple of months....he makes $52,000 a year!!!!!! and works 2 days a week. Try being a private in the army, and being in the line of fire to make $17,000 a year.

The pay for city employees is outrageous...the cuts need to start ....across the board, including the unions!

July 17, 2009 5:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We need to get active a city hall about this! The city is doing a budget amendment in their meeting next week. We need to show up and voice our outrage at these salaries.

If we don't let the commissioners, especially those running for office, know how we fee, it will be the same old song. They will sell their souls to the unions to get elected.

July 17, 2009 6:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think both Harry and Michelle have valid points. This is why we really need someone else to run for Mayor. Neither Joe or Tomas are good options. Most people I speak with are picking by eany meany miney moe, because both options stink.

Also everyone in District 2 couldn't wait to get rid of Linda Haskins but when she was on ity Staff she was fighting left and right to get theses outrageous pention practices stopped. I am sure she has mor information tha should come to light since she was on the inside fighting for Da People (us the taxpayers). Linda was right on and we need her back in the CFO position. Larry Spring needs to go. And raiding CIP (capital Improvements) to cover salaries is criminal. Charges should be filed!

July 17, 2009 8:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its a good thing Harry always would remind us all here Regalado's track record. Just because the Union's are with him does not mean they are in his pocket.
Has Regalado been bought by the Marlins or Jorge Perez?

Also worth mentioning that Regalado would reduce the Mayor's salary that was not voted on by the voters (reduce it by $50,000), and he is also old enough to retire and collect that sweet sweet pension.

So with his track record, I will choose to stay with him. I hope everyone looks at the past so they can look into the future of the city of miami. Look at voting record not endorsements.

July 17, 2009 8:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Michelle N. should have become a firefighter - she'd be good at sliding down a pole. She showed her colors when she goofed on someone's accent. Sorry not much class there.

July 17, 2009 8:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe Chairman Joe, can get together with the other commissioners and figure out a fee that is imposed on us to cover irresponsible spending, it would be unconstitutional though. They can call it the fire fee. Hopefully Regalado does not go and take it to the state attorneys office the same afternoon it goes on the vote.

Oh wait that already happened!

July 17, 2009 8:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 8:06PM: I agree, they need to bring Linda Haskins back!

July 17, 2009 8:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The majority of the overpaid employees are union members. So far the charts have not included overtime. Wait until the massive overtime figures get out.

The charts show many City employees are getting the taxpayers to make $40,000 to $50,000 per year contributions to their pension plans. How many of you are contributing $50,000 each year to your own retirements?

The unions will cause the City and/or the taxpayers to go bankrupt. And they do not care because their pay is based on a union contract and their pensions will be vested.

What is Manny Diaz going to do to fix this mess? How will any of you help to fix this mess?

July 17, 2009 10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not like he didnt audition for the job. At the AFL-CIO he actually said he voted for the stadium for the unions. A 2.8 billion dollar project, a mortgage for the next 40 years.

Manny has ignored this mess for the past 8 years. And his anointed successor is up for the job.

I am staying with Regalado.

July 18, 2009 4:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! No one remembers the facts. My relative was part of a union and they wanted Sanchez to win.
He has NEVER voted against Unions and Regalado does not have the same track record.

Obama had the support of the unions too

July 18, 2009 10:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Linda Haskins? She was one of those overpaid City workers and one of Manny's chronies. Stop in the name of common sense!

July 18, 2009 10:38 AM  
Anonymous swlip said...

The real looming crisis is not salaries, but unfunded public pensions. The shit hasn't even come near the fan, yet.

July 25, 2009 3:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a Fire Capt. with 25 years on the job. When I started I got $9.00 an hour and not many people wanted my job. I went to school for four years at my own expense to qualify for the job. I'm a State Certified Paramedic, Firefighter, Instructor, and I have a four year degree in Fire Science. I never once hesitated to put my life on the line for the sake of a citizen. Firefighters suffer from cancer at twice the national rate due to exposure to smoke. I have the scars from second and third degree burns to both of my hands. While most people are in their beds sleeping I'm aswering one of 80,000 alarms ( highest rate per F.F. in the country)for fire and medical service. Everytime someone is sick, can't breath, has an auto accident, gets shot, or stabbed they call us. We are highly trained and ready at all times to respond when people need us the most. The salaries you see are the result of OVERTIME (which we get after 48hrs not the normal 40).
I contribute 10% of my pay toward my pension and I do not qualify for medicare when I retire. When mommy told you to be a firefighter ask yourself why you did'nt listen to her.

July 30, 2009 3:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Firefighters no longer make $9 per hour. The City of Miami has perhaps a dozen Captains. They make $125 to $225 per hour. They contribute a small amount to the pensions (9% to 10%) BUT they do not care what return the pension investments get because their retirement benefits are set by their contracts. Even if their pension plan loses money every year they can still get $150,000 per year in retirement thanks to the hardworking taxpayers who fund the massive gap.

How many private sector employees have no health insurance and no pensions?

July 31, 2009 9:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The anonymous fire captain is a little truth challenged. Miami firefighters contribute 7% of their pay to pensions and it was recently increased to 8%. It is not 10%. They get a sweetheart deal on the cost of their insurance to offset that cost.

A 25-year fire captain at the city of Miami will make, with just base pay and special pays, and depending on whether he works 13 days every 7 weeks or 14 days every 7 weeks, somewhere between $182,500 and and $193,500 a year. That does not include the overtime he makes.

It does not include the take-home SUV that the city pays for, including the gas to communte from his home.

It does not include the "earned time payout" which allows that captain to bank some of his time and wait to get paid out right after he gets his 5% "cost of living" increase on 9/30/2009. That is another $5-7 million cost for the city each year.

It does not include the additional 110 hours per year of holiday pay he gets even if he doesn't work on a holiday.

It does not include the pension cost, because that captain, when he retires (if he has been with the city 25 years, he is probably about 47 years old and he can retire today) he will get 75% of that $182,000 - 193,000 for the rest of his life.

It does not include his 175 money - it comes from taxes on the insurance policies citizens pay - which in over $300,000 when he retires.

It does not include all his accrued sick and vacation time which will probablay give him another $200,000 when he retires.

And finally, when he talkes about cancer rate from smoke - he is referring to outdated NATIONAL statistics. Saftey apparatus for firefighters has improved greatly over the years and we all now that we don't have many fires in South Florida. The risk a firefighter takes in the northeast is much different than what they face in Miami.

Let's get real.....the fire union contract is obscene. And maybe the captain would like to tell me where I am misinformed.

August 04, 2009 1:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

O.K. lets go one by one:

My hourly rate is $54.oo. I work 52 hours a week with no overtime.

There are only 5 Captains out of 50 or so which get a take home car. They respond to major emergencies and are 40 hr ( not on shift )positions

Earned time and "holiday pay" are the same thing. When you are home opening holiday gifts with your children, Im putting out Christmas tree fires.

August 29, 2009 11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pension? I contributed 10.5 % for 10 years, 7% for 11 years and 8% for 3 years so (105+77+24)/ 24=8.58. So EXCUSE ME I was off by .5- 1.5 %. Remember the city pays 0 (zero) unless the market goes down so during the last economic boom the city paid zero and set aside (you guessed it) zero for the bad times. Anybody remember the story of The Grass Hopper and the Ant? We manage our pension through elected trustees from our own ranks. They have worked tirelessly and responsibly to make our fund one of the strongest and best managed in the country. It is a model system which all working class people should have. Average life expectancy for a retired Firefighter is 10 years- do the math!

August 29, 2009 11:19 AM  
Blogger Grapevine said...

So the list of salaries here is a total lie?

August 29, 2009 11:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

175 fund. This fund was created as a hedge against inflation for retired firefighters.. For years Firefighters retired on a fixed income. We now have a COLA funded by us which is discretionary and tied to the CPI. The 175 fund took a hit with the rest of he funds across the country and my fund value is 140,000 not 300,000.

Sick time if not used can be accrued and is paid out at the same hourly rate. The limit is 1200 hrs of sick and 120 hours of vacation so 1320x = 71,280. not 200,000

August 29, 2009 11:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And finally I get paid well because I’m worth it. I’m an expert at managing major emergencies. I’m a highly skilled paramedic. I have saved many live is my career. I am an expert in maintaining and operating Fire Department Pumpers and Aerials. I am an expert a Hazardous Material Accident management and operations. I am an expert at Fire Suppression and property conservation. I am an expert in Diving and water related Accident management. I am an expert in Technical Rescue (jaws of life, trench rescue and confined space rescue). I maintain a high level of fitness so when the shit hits the fan I’m ready to react in the right way with the right methods and with the right equipment.
By the way I’m not a liar. I’m one of 600 firefighter ready to lay my life on the line to save YOU.

August 29, 2009 11:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear grapevine,

The list is not a lie. The guys making alot work alot. That "highest paid Captain" works overtime every chance he gets. The city pays time and a half for overtime. He is making twice as much because he works twice as much. He has an incredibly important job. He responds to every cardiac arrest in the city and ensures that the code is managed properly. Five or more arrests a day is not unussual. He also is responsible for paramedic training, Mass Cassualty Incidents, and he is the liaison between Jackson Mercy Miami Children Coral Gables and all fo the other hospitals. Their are only a handfull of people in Dade County who are qualified to do this job.

August 29, 2009 11:31 AM  

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