River Cities

25 percent of Miami Springs employees earn more than $100,000

About a quarter of Miami Springs municipal employees earn more than $100,000 in salary and benefits, city records shows.

The city, with a population of 14,000, employs about 125 full-time employees. Of those, 31 earn in excess of $100,000 per year, according to an Aug. 12 “salary and benefits” report obtained by the Herald through a public records request.

The benefits include health insurance, longevity pay, Social Security tax and pension contributions. Benefits are a major consideration for city employees: Only four Miami Springs employees earn salaries of $100,000 or more.

Some of Miami Springs’ biggest earners, including salary and benefits, are:

• City Manager Ron Gorland, $191,972.

• Finance Director William Alonso, $168,300.

• Police Chief Pete Baan, $139,014.

• Information Technology Manager Jorge Fonseca, $108,085.

• City Clerk Erika Santamaria, $100,709.

• Building Official Skip Reed, $109,588.

• Public Works Director Tom Nash, $113,334.

• Golf Course Director Paul O’Dell, $112,630.

• Recreation Director Omar Luna, $111,399.

City Attorney Jan Seiden was not included in the list though city records show a $171,000 “department request” for professional legal services for the 2014-15 fiscal year. At the Aug. 11 council meeting, the city authorized a $12,433 payment to Seiden for the month of July. Seiden is an outside contractor, not a city employee.

“I would like to see a [salary and benefits] reduction of 5-10 percent for management, with no raises,” said Rosie Buckner, a longtime resident, who feels city leaders have a duty to rein in these high salaries.

Buckner proposed “no raises and pink-slipping for non-essential, part-time staff.”

Many employees who did not make the $100,000 cutoff were not too far behind. For example, Human Resources Director Lorretta Boucher earns $92,150.

“The community needs to get together and demand that they stop getting raises and make them give up 10 percent,” said Buckner, who frequently files public records requests to keep tabs on city spending. “Then we wouldn't have to pay so much in taxes.”

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Gorland’s total compensation package was comparable to that of Miami City Manager Daniel Alfonso. In fact, Gorland’s total package is comparable to Alfonso’s salary, not including benefits. Alfonso’s total compensation package is much larger than Gorland’s.

In addition, the reporter sent requests for comment to incorrect email addresses for Gorland and city council members.

In addition, the increase in the number of employees earning more than $100,000 in salary and benefits was 55 percent, not fourfold as stated in an earlier version of this story.