in Houston, Texas

Amarillo paid 34 workers $100K or more in 2008

Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009, 06:06PM CST
By Jennifer Peebles
cadillacranchThirty-four Amarillo city workers made $100,000 or more last year, with three of them breaking the $100K mark by putting in overtime, according to an analysis of city pay data by Texas Watchdog and the Amarillo Independent.

The city’s most highly paid employee last year was City Manager Alan Taylor, whose total compensation was $265,000. Ranking at No. 2 on the list was Richard “Buzz” David, the city’s chief economic development official. He made $175,000.

Click here to jump down to Texas Watchdog’s spreadsheet of Amarillo’s most highly paid workers in 2008.

Twenty city workers made enough overtime to make an additional 30 percent or more of their base pay, Texas Watchdog found. Twelve of them work for the Police Department.

The employee who made the most overtime as a percentage of their base pay was Theresa K. High, a supervisor in the city’s 911 system. High’s base pay was $31,666, but she also made $15,000 in overtime.

High often helps fill in when the city’s 911 center is short-handed, Police Chief Robert Taylor told The Independent.

“That’s an area where we just can’t stick anybody in there, and so people who are trained to do that job have to do a lot of overtime to fill in when there’s nobody there,” the chief said.

The jail and the 911 operation have high turnover because those are “very stressful jobs,” Alan Taylor said. Some of that stress will be alleviated with the opening of a new dispatch center in October, he said.

Some employees show up in the database as making more than $100,000 line because they retired during the course of the year and received additional pay for their accumulated benefits, city Finance Director Dean Frigo told The Independent.

This story was reported by Jennifer Peebles of Texas Watchdog and Greg Rohloff and George Schwarz of The Amarillo Independent.

Photo of Amarillo's world-famous Cadillac Ranch by flickr user C.W. Cohenour, used via the Creative Commons license.

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