I predict that productivity will be down at workplaces across Springfield this morning—especially within City Hall.
The cause? This search engine, posted on MassLive, that lets users find out the salaries of city employees. The article is linked to the “Open Checkbook” page of the City Hall website, a rather fascinating tool for tracking all kinds of city spending.
This morning’s article focuses on the municipal payroll—an evergreen topic for newspapers and an opportunity for taxpayers to track who’s earning what. Among the interesting nuggets to be found: the many city employees who take home more than the mayor. Domenic Sarno’s $95,000 salary puts him well behind dozens and dozens of employees, including Schools Superintendent Danny Warwick, the highest-paid employee at almost $200,000 a year; Police Commissioner William Fitchet ($164,000) also earns more than the mayor, as do Fire Commissioner Joseph Conant ($140,000), City Solicitor Ed Pikula ($132,650), Chief Development Officer Kevin Kennedy ($125,000), as well as numerous school principals and higher-ups in the SPD and SFD.
The MassLive link allows you to search by employee name or job title, although the latter function isn’t perfect, requiring you to know specific titles (searching for “health inspector” and “plow driver,” for instance, will yield no results; searching for “teacher” gives you just 16 names).
While these kinds of databases can bring out the nosy neighbor in all of us, there’s really no shame in that; after all, this is what a transparent government is supposed to look like.
Now here’s what I’d love to know: which city employee’s name will be entered into the MassLive search engine the most?