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Maine State Housing Authority payrolls up eight percent in 2011

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MaineHousing Authority Payroll 2005 - 2011

New data released on MaineOpenGov.org shows MaineHousing payrolls jumped nearly $1 million between 2010 and 2011

In the final year of former director Dale McCormick’s leadership at MaineHousing, salaries and benefits at the agency went up eight percent, with the annual payroll topping $10 million for the first time.

The payroll data, which is posted online at MaineOpenGov.org, a website of The Maine Heritage Policy Center, shows that in 2010 MaineHousing paid out a total of $9,370,000 in salaries and benefits, a total number that grew to $10.1 million in 2011, the final full year of McCormick’s tenure.

The growth in total payroll didn’t come from an increase in the number of employees: full and part-time employees increased by just three in the calendar year. Instead, the growth in total payroll was driven by salary raises and increased benefits costs.

According to MaineHousing, individual benefit costs cannot be provided, but benefits equal 35 percent of total payroll costs. According to their website, MaineOpenGov.org calculates an individual’s benefits costs by multiplying the 35 percent figure by each individual’s salary.

MaineHousing 2011 - top paid employees (Click to enlarge)

The top seven most highly paid employees at MaineHousing, who all take home more than $100,000 in base salary, received raises in the $3,000 range in 2011. The top seven most highly paid employees for 2011 are listed below with their total compensation as reported on MaineOpenGov.org:

  • Thomas Cary – Treasurer: $160,165
  • Margaret Bean – Deputy Director: $154,760
  • Dale McCormick – Executive Director: $141,005 (Resigned in March 2012)
  • Darren Brown – Director of Finance: $139,388
  • Peter Merrill – Communications and Planning Director: $139,387 (Now acting as MaineHousing director)
  • Linda Sears Uhl – Chief Counsel: $139,387
  • Norman Breitner – Director of Information Services: $139,355

Many of these top employees have been at MaineHousing for some time, including Thomas Cary, who has been employed there since 1984. They have also seen substantial raises through the years. For instance, Cary received a base salary of $99,000 in 2005, McCormick’s first year as executive director. In 2011, that base salary was $118,000—raises that total nearly $20,000 during McCormick’s tenure.

Some departments within the agency have also seen payroll growth since 2005. The “Energy and Housing Services” department, which had the fourth-largest payroll at the agency in 2005 at $830,000, jumped to second highest in 2011, with a total payroll of $1.44 million.

The “Administration” department took a huge jump in payroll as well, nearly doubling from $470,000 in 2005 to $890,000 in 2011. The “Homeless” department comes in at sixth, just below the Administration department, with a $700,000 payroll in 2011.

MaineHousing officials acknowledged the 2011 raises, saying that it was a board approved 3 percent raise. The new board, which began in 2011, recently approved a 2 percent raise for 2012. MaineHousing also attributed the overall growth in benefits to “unusually high utilization” of their health plan in 2010, which led to higher premiums on that plan in 2011.

More information on the MaineHousing payroll can be found at http://maineopengov.org/payrolls/state-housing-authority/.

About Steve Robinson

Steve Robinson is the former editor of The Maine Wire and currently producer for the Howie Carr Show. Follow him on Twitter @Stevie_Rob or send him an email at Steve@HowieCarrShow.com.

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