Local gov’t. employees: Some big paydays


    6-figure salaries in top school system positions; not so much in F’ville, Tyrone

    The top-paid local government official in all of Fayette County for the completed 2012-2013 fiscal year isn’t even employed here anymore.

    Although former county school superintendent Jeff Bearden’s annual salary of $153,000 was surpassed by the $175,000 paid to Fayette County Administrator Steve Rapson, Bearden hauled in a total sum of $288,212 for the year since his October 2012 termination agreement that paid him an additional $198,424 in contract and unused vacation payouts.

    Rapson’s $175,000 salary put him heads above his fellow counterparts in Fayette’s cities, as Peachtree City’s Jim Pennington was paid $128,399, Fayetteville’s Joe Morton was paid $85,004 and Brandon Perkins, who served much of the year as both Tyrone town manager and police chief, clocked in at $71,932.

    Since it is budget season for local governments, The Citizen asked for the “top 10” employees’ salaries for the 2012-2013 budget year because that was the most recently completed budget year. The school system was asked for the same data on all employees who made more than $100,000, and some 28 school employees, including Bearden, surpassed that mark, with the largest amount being either central office staff or school principals; of the group seven have already retired from the school system since last year.

    The school salaries ranged from $100,548 for Principal Felecia Spicer up to $128,470 for Deputy School Superintendent Sam Sweat and $139,003 for former Fayette County High School Principal Charles Warr.

    Nine of the county government’s top 10 paid employees cracked the six-figure mark including Rapson. Among them are citizen-elected “employees” such as State Court Judge Jason Thompson at $140,626, Solicitor General Jamie Inagawa at $110,470, Clerk of Court Sheila Studdard at $107,475 and Tax Commissioner George Wingo at $106,514. Rounding out the county’s top 10 are Fire and EMS Chief David Scarbrough at $118,444; Deputy Director of Public Safety/Deputy Fire Chief Thomas Bartlett at $109,987; Chief Financial Officer Mary Parrott and Public Works Director Phil Mallon at $107,304 and EMA Director/Division Chief Pete Nelms at $99,643.

    Only three of Peachtree City’s top 10 finished in six figures, including Pennington, Police Chief H.C. “Skip” Clark ($113,091) and Finance Director Paul Salvatore ($111,810). Others on the city’s top 10 list included Police Captain Stan Pye at $92,019, Senior City Planner David Rast at $91,931; Assistant Police Chief William McCollom at $91,240; Library Administrator Jill Prouty at $89,684; Fire Captain and Training Officer Ron Mundy at $88,314; Community Services Director Jon Rorie at $87,853 and former Public Works Director Mark Caspar at $85,736.

    With a part-time executive staff due in large part to the reduced revenues resulting from the recession that began in 2007, no Fayetteville staffers earned more than $100,000. Leading the list after City Manager Morton were Fire Chief Alan Jones at $77,532; Police Captain Jeff Harris at $72,939; Public Services Director Chris Hindman at $72,708; System Administrator Kelvin Joyner at $70,779; interim Police Chief Scott Pitts at $69,420; Police Major Jeff McMullan at $68,840; former Police Chief Steve Heaton at $67,885; Deputy Fire Chief Linda Partridge at $67,682 and Police Captain Patricia Kent at $64,487.

    No Tyrone employees hit the six-figure mark, as Police Major Van Brock was paid $71,560 and finance and human resources manager Penny Hunter was paid $61,208 along with town manager Kyle Hood, who hadn’t yet served a full year in office, at $59,923. Also on Tyrone’s top 10 list were Police Lieutenant Steven Lafferty at $51,715; Police Lieutenant Eric DeLoose at $50,328; Investigator Robert Carawan at $46,433; Police Sergeant David Murphy at $45,102; Environmental Technician Elizabeth Vaughn at $44,563 and Police Detective Andrea Johnson-McCoy at $43,353.

    Following is the full list of school system employees making over $100,000.

    • Jeff Bearden, superintendent, $288,212 (now superintendent in Forsyth County);

    • Charles Warr, principal, $139,003 (now retired);

    • Sam Sweat, deputy superintendent, $128,470;

    • Ed Steil, Lafayette Ed. Center director, $127,553 (now retired);

    • Sharon Boyer, science coordinator, $123,696 (now retired);

    • Roy Rabold, principal, $118,969;

    • Tracie Fleming, assistant superintendent, $118,078 (now retired);

    • Lenore Patton, principal, $113,878 (now retired);

    • Deborah Wheat, reading/media coordinator, $112,834 (now retired);

    • Olivia Ridgeway, math coordinator, $112,411 (now retired);

    • Kris Floyd, testing coordinator, $111,106;

    • Louis Robinson, principal, $109,717;

    • Kristin Berryman, principal, $108,782;

    • Timothy Carder, principal, $106,425;

    • Wenonah Bell, principal, $105,672;

    • Julie Turner, principal, $105,648;

    • Marilyn Teat, assistant principal, $105,117 (now retired);

    • Kim Herron, principal, $104,464;

    • Kate Matthews, instruct. tech. specialist, $104,092;

    • Steven Greene, safety/discipline/athletic coordinator, $103,923;

    • Mike Satterfield, facilities director, $103,877;

    • Erinn Angelo, principal, $102,825;

    • Barbara Serapion, pupil services director, $102,582;

    • Doe Evans, principal, $102,483;

    • Bonnie Hancock, principal, $102,483;

    • Chris Horton, exceptional child director, $102,483;

    • Ted Lombard, principal, $101,455;

    • Felecia Spicer, principal, $100,548;

    Note: Bearden’s annual salary was $153,000. His pay included $198,424 in contract and unused vacation payouts made in January 2013. He worked from July 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012 during that fiscal year. His termination agreement in October 2012 stipulated that he receive an amount equal to one year of annual salary.

    Also, the figures for school officials above are as of the end of the 2012-2013 fiscal year that ended June 30, 2013, before current Superintendent Dr. Joseph Barrow was hired.

    — Reported by Ben Nelms and John Munford