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
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
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