Maine State Housing Authority payrolls up eight percent in 2011

MaineHousing Authority Payroll 2005 - 2011
MaineHousing Authority Payroll 2005 - 2011

New data released on 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, 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, 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

  • 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


  1. To really shed light on this, it would be good to show how MSHA’s salaries compare with similar sized organizations from the private sector and the salary changes those private businesses have made over the last few years.

  2. Most of these employees earn more than many of our Cabinet level positions in Maine State Government… ie Commissioners of State Departments.

  3.  Good Point, I wonder how many private companies also give lifetime benefits. Most likely any of these individuals would be toast in the private sector and make no where near as much as they are bilking the taxpayer.

  4. It sounds like this is the tip of the iceberg in the state “government”!  Keep up the good work!

  5. Well — now we can understand why Breitner and McCormick so desperately needed those cash rewards and airline miles. After all,  when one makes a pittance like  $103,000 per year, every penny and dime one can scrounge is too precious to be overlooked.

  6. Ah, but according to our Dear Leader in the White House, the public sector is severely handicapped when compared to the private sector who is “doing just fine”.  Augusta has proved to be a most rewarding destination for those who have had the right connections during the reign of the Democrats. 

  7. Hi!

    This is what happens when it is someone else’s money being spent.

    The private sector would go out of business performing like this.

  8. That’s for sure! I always got a good laugh when the reason we didn’t get our col was because there was no increase in the cost of living!! What planet are they living on? It seems the only way I can survive their ignorance is to find the humor in it.

  9. Where’s that smarmy political scientist when you need one?

    It seems like the more worthy a cause a non-profit undertakes; the more likely it is that the ‘directorate’ will start taking more and more money from the revenue flows and reward themselves with all kinds of perks. 

    Perhaps it’s time to start some research studies of how ‘welfare states’ deteriorate and become corrupt bastions of crony politics?

  10. Does that include vacation time? & therefore replacement costs?When I managed budget we included that cost. Pushed benefit cost to about 48%. 

  11. The rise in use of the medical plan was due to the increase use of the on site massages provided in the wellness package.  In Falmouth our town employees and their families are provided snow tubing at the Seacoast Fun Park as part of their wellness package.  It’s only a few thousand dollars per year and it makes everyone really healthy.
    Michael Doyle

  12. As a corporation chartered by special  act of legislation to serve as an instrumentality of the state, The Maine State Housing Authority is not to be found at the Bureau of Corporations website,which functions, under the Secretary of State to administer general law over ALL Corporations, however formed, pursuant to Article IV, Part Third, Section 14 ofthe  Maine State Constitution.

    The massive network of corporate instrumentalities of the state appear to be all filed away separately at the legislative library where there appears to  be no administration of general corporate law  taking place.


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