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Educators, public safety personnel top Westport's 2013 wage list

Updated 12:43 pm, Thursday, February 27, 2014

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  • Superintendent of Schools Elliott Landon was Westport's top earner in 2013. Photo: Cameron Martin / Westport News

    Superintendent of Schools Elliott Landon was Westport's top earner in 2013.

    Photo: Cameron Martin

 

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Education, police and fire personnel once again topped Westport's public payrolls in 2013, according to information supplied by the town and school district's finance departments.

Heading the list in the top four spots are school district administrators, with Superintendent of Schools Elliott Landon the highest-paid by a significant margin, at a salary of $290,418. This doesn't include other benefits provided in his annual contract. Landon has served as Westport's superintendent since 1999.

Lis Comm, the school district's director of secondary education, Cynthia Gilchrest, the school district's director of elementary education, and Staples High School Principal John Dodig were the next top earners, each with a salary of $179,841.

Comm and Gilchrest plan to retire at the end of this school year.

The next four highest wage packages went to Police Department personnel. Police Field Training Officer Howard Simpson was paid a total of $189,930, of which $175,825 was paid by the town and $14,105 from doing outside jobs. Police Officer Anthony Falbo was paid $174,774, with $96,208 paid by the town and $78,565 by outside contractors, while Police Sgt. Ryan Paulsson was paid $166,916, with $151,294 from the town and $15,621 from contractors. And Police Field Training Officer Anthony Prezioso was paid $164,209, with $148,588 in town pay and $15,621 from contractors.

Police Chief Dale Call was ranked number 9 on the list of town-side employees and was 22nd highest on the combined list of wage earners. Call was paid $148,247 while Fire Chief Andrew Kingsbury, 10th on the municipal list and 31st overall, was paid $147,999 and Fire Marshal Edward Zygmant, 18th on the town list and ranked 39th overall, had wages of $137,850.

With two exceptions, all of the top 50 wage earners on the municipal side of the list are either police or fire employees. The two exceptions are Gary Conrad, the town's finance director, who was paid a salary of $158,926 and Stephen Edwards, the public works director, with wages of $136,011. Conrad was number 6 on the town's list and 11th overall, while Edwards ranked 19th on the town's list and 40 overall.

"I think the way the salaries sort out reflects the town's commitment to education and public safety for its citizens," said First Selectman Jim Marpe. "And the ranking of the employees is consistent with other, similar communities."

Marpe, paid an annual salary of $101,475 as the town's top administrator, took office after his election last November and was not listed among the top 50 municipal wage earners.

Of the large number of school district employees at the top of the wage list, Board of Education Chairwoman Elaine Whitney said, "We are proud of retaining experienced educators who are highly regarded experts in their fields, and our dynamic, collaborative professional team is at the core of the excellence of the educational programs and services we provide to Westport's children.

"We regularly benchmark our compensation levels with those of our peer districts," Whitney added.

TOP PAY IN WESTPORT

Following is the list of the 50 largest salaries paid in 2013 to public employees in Westport. The total wages for police includes total pay from the town plus wages they received for working outside jobs that are compensated by private contractors.

Superintendent of Schools Elliott Landon, $290,418

Elisabeth Comm, school system's director of secondary education, $179,841

Cynthia Gilchrest, school system's director of elementary education, $179,841

Staples High School Principal John Dodig, $179,841

Police Field Training Officer Howard Simpson, $189,930: $175,825 town wages plus $14,105

Police Officer Anthony Falbo, $174,774: $96,208 town wages plus $78,565

Police Sgt. Ryan Paulsson, $166,916: $151,294 town wages plus $15,621

Police Field Training Officer Anthony Prezioso, $164,209: $148,588 town wages plus $15,621

Coleytown Elementary School Principal Kris Szabo, $162,524

Police Lt. Arthur Belile, $159,541: $125,311 town wages plus $34,230

Town Finance Director Gary Conrad, $158,926

Greens Farms School Principal John Bayers, $158,188

Natalie Carrignan, school system's director of technology, $158,188

Saugatuck Elementary School Principal Julie Droller, $158,188

Long Lots School Principal Michael Droller, $158,188

Kings Highway Principal Susie Da Silva, $157,765

Coleytown School Principal Janna Bell, $156,389

Staples High School administrator Michael Rizzo, $154,759

Bedford Middle School Principal Adam Rosen, $153,728

Police Field Training Officer David Librandi, $150,053: $132,803 town wages plus $17,250

Police Capt. Samuel Arciola, $149,149: $131,334 town wages plus $17,815

Police Chief Dale Call, $148,247

Staples High School Assistant Principal James Farnen, $148,179

Staples High School Assistant Principal Patrick Micinilio, $148,179

Bedford Middle School Assistant Principal Denise Emmerthal, $148,179

Staples High School Assistant Principal Richard Franzis, $148,179

Staples High School Assistant Principal Karyn Morgan, $148,179

Coleytown School Assistant Principal Lauren Pitocco, $148,179

Staples High School Guidance Department Chairman Elaine Schwartz, $148,179

Physical Education Department Chairman David Gusitsch, $148,179

Fire Chief Andrew Kingsbury, $147,966

Police Deputy Chief Fotios Koskinas, $142,253: $139,207 town wages plus $3,045

Police Officer Michael Gudzik, $141,486: $101,924 town wages plus $39,562

Fire Lt. Brett Kirby, $139,947

Fire Deputy Chief Robert Kepchar, $139,466

Fire Lieutenant Richard Stone, $139,116.

Police Sgt. Jill Ruggiero, $138,921: $121,548 town wages plus $17,373

Police Lieutenant Eric Woods, $138,178: $129,224 town wages plus $8,954

Fire Marshal Edward Zygmant, $137,850

Public Works Director Stephen Edwards, $136,011

Police Lieutenant David Farrell, $134,939: $126,007 town wages plus $8,932

Police Lieutenant Jeremiah Shannon, $134,120

Police Capt. John Calka, $132,897

Police Detective Marc Heinmiller, $132,351: $129,249 plus $3,101

Police Officer James Loomer, $132,284: $114,411 town wages plus $17,873

Police Desk Officer Flor Dunn, $132,179: $113,526 town wages plus $18,652

Police Capt. Vincent Penna, $132,060

Police Officer Richard Bagley, $132,001: $121,182 town wages plus $10,819

Fire Lt. Kenneth Lombardi, $131,985

Police Public Safety Officer Christopher Proudfoot, $131,917: $111,303 town wages plus $20,614