Six-figure salaries the norm among town’s best paid workers

Mar 7, 2018 by

Published in the March 7, 2018 edition

By DAN TOMASELLO

LYNNFIELD — Forty-nine public employees earned six-figure salaries last year according to town documents released to the Villager last week.

According to data supplied by Town Treasurer Christine O’Sullivan and based on employees’ W-2 forms, former Lynnfield High School teacher Kacy Zurkus topped the highest paid employees list with $223,506.13.

“The amount for Kacy Zurkus includes a lump sum payment representing nearly two years of back pay, which was awarded by an arbitrator when he ordered her reinstatement after her dismissal was arbitrated,” said O’Sullivan in a statement included in the top salaries list. “She had been dismissed at the end of May 2015.”

Zurkus is no longer teaching at LHS.

The data revealed that eight out of the 49 town employees who received six figure salaries were women. All but one worked for the School Department.

In addition to Police Chief David Breen, there were 19 members of the Police Department who earned six-figure salaries. Salaries for police officers include base pay, overtime, details, holiday and longevity pay, clothing allowances and funds associated with the Quinn Bill. The Quinn Bill is a police career incentive program enacted in 1970 by the State Legislature that encourages police officers in participating municipalities to earn degrees in law enforcement and criminal justice. The educational incentives result in salary increases.

Sergeant Sean Donovan was second on the high paid employees list with $203,130.41. Town documents revealed Donovan earned a base pay of $102,468.79 while also earning $68,466.55 in overtime and $32,225.17 in detail pay.

Former Town Administrator Jim Boudreau was third on the list with $194,966. Superintendent of Schools Jane Tremblay was the fourth highest paid employee of 2017 with $189,276.40.

Police Chief David Breen was fifth on the list with $183,289.95. Patrolman Mark Bettencourt was sixth on the list with $182,173.27, which included $86,182.85 in base pay, $65,939.63 in detail pay and $30,050.79 in overtime.

Patrolman Steven O’Connell was seventh on the list with $178,308.85, which included $82,355.37 in base pay, $55,702.14 in overtime and $40,251.34 in detail pay. Police sergeant Louis Trapasso was the eighth highest paid town employee, totaling $171,750.43. Town documents revealed Trapasso earned a base pay of $99,259.12, $55,808.67 in overtime and $16,682.64 in detail pay.

School resource officer Patrick Curran was ninth on the highest paid employee list with $167,302.33, which included $68,181.47 in base pay, $58,559.47 in detail pay and $40,561.39 in overtime. Patrolman Scott Fitzemeyer was the 10th highest paid employee with $165,809.85, which included $75,971.42 in base pay, $58,321.07 in overtime and $31,517.36 in detail pay.

Patrolman Michael Topping was 11th on the highest paid employee list with $148,284.77, which included $85,125.64 in base pay, $34,041.96 in detail pay and $29,117.17 in overtime. Police sergeant Christopher DeCarlo was the 12th highest paid employee with $148,041.94, which included $77,683.59 in base pay, $58,885.46 in overtime and $11,502.89 in detail pay. Patrolman James Caponigro was 13th on the list with $144,815.57, which included $72,930.92 in base pay, $37,942.25 in detail pay and $33,942.40 in overtime.

There were seven members of the Fire Department who earned six figure salaries. Fire Captain John Walsh was the 14th highest paid town employee and earned the most of any member of the Fire Department with $142,645.08. Town documents revealed Walsh received a base pay of $91,774.77, $26,611.98 in overtime and $24,258.33 in EMS user fees.

Fire Lieutenant James Alexander was the second highest paid member of the Fire Department and was the 17th highest paid town employee with $140,891.11. Alexander received $83,680.60 in base pay, $34,989.26 in EMS user fees, $21,061.82 in overtime and $1,159.43 in detail pay. Fire Lieutenant Richard Ripley was the 18th highest paid town employee with $135,941.08, which included $79,740.36 in base pay, $29,901.94 in overtime, $25,479.10 in EMS user fees and $819.68 in detail pay.

Daniel Veinot was the fourth highest paid firefighter and was the 23rd highest paid town employee with $131,110.82, which included $74,289.74 in base pay, $36,023.82 in EMS user fees and $20,797.26 in overtime. Fire Lieutenant Kevin Mutti was the 28th highest paid town employee with $124,684.16, which included $85,457,44 in base pay, $22,387.25 in EMS user fees, $15,676.22 in overtime and $1,163.25 in detail pay.

Additionally, Fire Chief Mark Tetreault was 34th on the list with $118,992.31. Firefighter Jeffrey Fiorentino was 40th on the list with $105,459.20, which included $67,816.25 in base pay, $27,090.82 in EMS user fees, $10,085,03 in overtime and $467.10 in detail pay.

In addition to Zurkus and Tremblay, there were 15 members of the School Department who earned six figure salaries. High School Principal Bob Cleary was 16th on the list with $141,209. Special Services Director Kara Mauro was the 24th highest paid employee with $129,974.82. Middle School Principal Stephen Ralston was 25th on the highest paid employee list with $128,076.02.

School Finance Director Tom Geary was the 27th highest paid town employee with $127,002.37. Teaching and Learning Director Kevin Cyr was the 31st on the list with $121,137.04. Huckleberry Hill School Principal Brian Bemiss was the 36th highest paid employee with $117,278.60. Elementary Math and Science Curriculum Director Christina Noce was 38th on the list with $106,563.39.

Lynnfield High guidance counselor and boys’ basketball coach Scott MacKenzie was 41st on the list with $104,654.24. Guidance Department Head Michael Moresco was the 42nd highest paid town employee with $104,125.95. Social Studies Department Head Michael Boulay was 44th on the list with $102.981.12.

High school math teacher and cross country head coach Joe DiBiase was 45th on the list with $102,817.77. School psychologist Lydia Rundell-Gjerde was 46th on the list with $102,255.33. Special education teacher Andrea Knight was the 47th highest paid employee with $102,077.27.

High school physical education teacher and varsity football coach Neal Weidman was the 48th highest paid town employee with $101.730.78. LHS physical education teacher and varsity volleyball head coach Michelle Perrone was 49th on the list with $100,498.27.

There were three other town employees who received six figure salaries last year. DPW Director John Tomasz was the 26th highest paid town employee with $127,503.78. Town Accountant Julie McCarthy was 35th on the list with $117,278.60. Town Engineer Charlie Richter was 43rd on the list with $103,482.47.

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