CBS Austin: 3,569 City Employees With $100,000+ Paychecks CBS_Austin

October 3, 2022 11:31 AM

CBS

Meet Austin’s $100,000 Club -- 3,569 City Employees With $100,000 Paychecks Cost Taxpayers $460 Million Last Year 

 

So, just who is making all of this money?

 

Meet the Austin $100,000 Club city employees making six figures and paid for by taxpayers. It's comprised of 3,569 public employees who earned a new ‘minimum wage’ of $100,000 or more. 

Review the entire Austin city payroll for the last five years including Austin’s $100,000 Club on our website at OpenTheBooks.com. 

While crime skyrockets in the neighborhoods, the homeless occupy public spaces, and inflation decimates private-sector paychecks, the Austin city public employee class is living the good life. 

 

Our auditors at OpenTheBooks.com found Jacqueline Ann Sargeant, the general manager of the electric utility, generated an income of $423,858 – out earning the U.S. President ($400,000). (Sargeant’s pay was tops among the 19,275 city employees in 2021.) 

The highly compensated Spencer Cronk is one of the top paid city managers in the country. In 2021, Cronk earned $380,393.  
 
Last year, Cronk also employed an expensive team: a six-figure assistant ($109,471), an executive assistant ($80,218), and an executive secretary ($76,431).  
 
Then, there were the cadre of highly-compensated deputy and assistant city managers. For example, the deputy city manager has a $276,016 base salary and four assistant city manager(s) had base salaries between $250,619 and $260,104. 
 
In August, the mayor and city council voted themselves a 40-percent increase in salary. Therefore, in 2023, the mayor will earn $134,191 and the council members $116,421. (COMPARISON: In San Antonio – a larger city with 1.4 million residents vs. only 964,000 in Austin – the mayor makes $61,725 and council members $45,722.)  
 
The Austin city attorney (Ann Morgan, $258,185) out earned the Texas attorney general ($153,750) by over $100,000. The police chief (Joseph Chacon, $230,006) out earned the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security ($203,500). The transportation director (Robert Spillar, $217,297) earned nearly as much the U.S. Secretary of Transportation ($221,400), a cabinet level position.  

The city director of parks and recreation (Kimberly McNeeley, $191,570) had pay on par with the Texas director of parks and wildlife ($200,643). The library director (Roosevelt Weeks, $190,195) had pay in the range of the highest paid executives at the National Archive and the Smithsonian Institution ($201,400). For additional context, the director of the Chicago Public Library earned $167,004 last year. 

 

In total, we found 109 “directors,” “assistant directors,or “deputy directors” in the city agencies who collectively made nearly $19 million last year – an average base salary of $170,000 each. 

TOP 10 OUT OF 109 Austin City “Directors” FY2021 
The average base salary for the 109 city directors, assistant directors, or deputy directors is $170,000 per year.  

 
 
 
 
 
 

First 

 
 
 
 

MI 

 
 
 
 

Last 

 
 
 
 

Title 

 
 
 
 

Hire Date 

 
 
 
 

Base Salary 

 
 
 
 

2021 Gross Pay 
by Position 

 
 
 
 

Gregory 

 
 

Allen 

 
 

Meszaros 

 
 

Dir, Austin Water 

 
 

24-Sep-07 

 
 

$218,836.80 

 
 

$218,465.83 

 
 
 
 

Robert 

 
 

J 

 
 

Spillar 

 
 

Dir, Transportation 

 
 

02-Sep-08 

 
 

$217,297.60 

 
 

$216,941.82 

 
 
 
 

Richard 

 
 

 

 
 

Mendoza 

 
 

Dir, Public Works 

 
 

17-Jan-17 

 
 

$217,297.60 

 
 

$216,761.18 

 
 
 
 

Lakenzar 

 
 

Dwayne 

 
 

Snipes 

 
 

Dir, Austin Resource Recovery 

 
 

23-Sep-19 

 
 

$213,283.20 

 
 

$212,011.60 

 
 
 
 

Kathleen 

 
 

Marie 

 
 

Garrett 

 
 

Dir, AE Envirn Hlth&Sfty Svcs 

 
 

03-Mar-08 

 
 

$199,243.20 

 
 

$202,927.22 

 
 
 
 

Dana 

 
 

Renee 

 
 

Kadavy 

 
 

Laboratory Director 

 
 

27-Nov-17 

 
 

$203,340.80 

 
 

$202,207.62 

 
 
 
 

Richard 

 
 

A 

 
 

McHale 

 
 

Dep Dir, Austin Rsc Recovery 

 
 

05-Apr-93 

 
 

$197,267.20 

 
 

$200,377.25 

 
 
 
 

Yvonne 

 
 

Denise 

 
 

Lucas 

 
 

Dir Development Services 

 
 

12-Apr-10 

 
 

$200,491.20 

 
 

$200,258.76 

 
 
 
 

Rosamund 

 
 

Eileen 

 
 

Truelove 

 
 

Dir, Hsng&Plng 

 
 

01-Jun-98 

 
 

$196,476.80 

 
 

$199,041.82 

 
 
 
 

Jorge 

 
 

Luis 

 
 

Morales 

 
 

Dir, Wtrshd Prot & Dev Rev 

 
 

08-Jun-09 

 
 

$197,683.20 

 
 

$197,742.96 

Learn more at OpenTheBooks.com 

 

Back to news
Donate_Button_Red
Sign the Petition