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March 12, 2013

County eyes '$100,000 club'

Tonawanda News — A recent review of personnel costs in Erie County has revealed that 723 of its employees make more than $100,000 annually, mostly due to overtime and healthcare costs. 

The review was conducted by county comptroller Stefan Mychajliw, who said that more than 20 percent of the county’s 4,186 employees make at least $100,000, based on 2012 payroll records. Personnel costs came in at $326 million last year, which constituted 29 percent of the overall budget. 

Mychajliw said the goal of the review was to assist the legislature and county executive Mark Poloncarz in identifying the negative impact of personnel and overtime costs. 

“It is possible to reduce personnel, make tough cuts, and put a significant dent in budget gaps,” Mychajliw said. “County leaders should review personnel and overtime costs first, before attempting to hurt families with potential property tax increases. Taxpayers need to be protected above all else.” 

The review also revealed that nine of those who made more than $100,000 had a base salary of $30,000 before overtime and 36 of the workers doubled their base salary. It also included the cost of salaries, fringe benefits, overtime, bonuses paid to workers, arbitration and grievance awards and accrued time off cash-outs for each Erie County employee.

The audit’s release follows a recent reform plan that pushed for cuts to be considered at lower-level patronage jobs. 

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