by Adam Andrzejewski, CEO and founder of OpenTheBooks.com
When negotiating pay packages for public employees, everything has to be on the table – because taxpayers are paying the bills. This includes pay, perks, and pension benefits.
Thankfully, in Maine, the retirement annuity payouts to retired public employees are public record. Under the sunshine law, the Maine Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) releases monthly payouts for retired public employees. This makes sense because taxpayers help fund those pensions and guarantee them too.
Our auditors at OpenTheBooks.com reviewed the top retirees for the City of Portland. We found that the top three retirees make nearly six-figure incomes in retirement.
#1 Joseph E. Gray, Jr.: the former city manager retired in 2011 received $108,782 in retirement pension last year ($8,892 per month). Gray spent 10 years as the city manager and 40 years at city hall.
#2 Anita R. LaChance: the former deputy city manager retired in 2018 received $99,240 in retirement pension or $8,270 per month. With an inflation adjusted increase in 2022, LaChance will exceed $100,000 in retirement income. LaChance spent three years as the deputy city manager and 38 years at city hall.
#3 Ronald W. Thompson: the former deputy fire chief retired in 2000 received $93,588 in retirement pension or $7,799 per month. Thompson joined the Portland fire department in 1969 and was promoted to his position in 1989.
Former deputy fire chief Terrance Walsh retired in 2018 and received $86,712 in retirement pension or $7,226 per month. Former chief engineer Joseph Thomas, Jr. retired in 2000 and received $78,492 in retirement or $6,541 per month. (Donald E. Brown received $$87,900 in pension last year, however, we couldn’t find any other information online regarding his city employment.)
Reviewing all city retirees, we found eight exceeded $75,000 per year and 52 retirement pensions exceeded $50,000 per year.
Citizens can review all City of Portland retirement pensions between 2017-2021 on our website at OpenTheBooks.com.