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Total compensation

August 28, 2012 - John D'Agostino
Let me begin by noting blogger FredoniaFred is correct. The salary of the Chautauqua County Home administrator is $87,000.

But that $87,000 salary is not at all the total cost to the taxpayer for the administrator’s position. The salary became an issue in Monday’s OBSERVER’s View regarding the County Home, "Top position stays silent." In the editorial, we note the administrator "is compensated more than $128,000 annually in his position."

Fred took issue in one of his comments: "Mr. (Timothy) Hellwig's salary is $87K per year. A good salary but certainly not $128K. Why is everyone intent on spreading lies about the CCH."

We did not say his salary was $128,000. We said the position is "compensated" $128,000.

Compensation figures in the salary, health care costs, pensions and other benefits. Put those all together, and you get total compensation.

Conservatively, getting the total compensation number comes by multiplying the salary by 150 percent. Some will argue 133 percent is more accurate, but that only gives you a rosier picture when looking at total costs.

And, if you want the numbers in black and white, look to the CGR report toward the back at Appendix B, Page 2. For 2011, salaries at the Home total $8.6 million while benefits total $4.8 million. Those benefits are 55 percent of the total salaries.

We certainly do not need "rosy" pictures when looking at finances for our governments and schools. The big costs in all publicly funded budgets are in the total compensation.

Links to the editorial and CGR report can be found at right.


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