Mayor’s pay is 16th on scale of municipal executives


Warwick is the state’s second largest city, but when it comes to salaries, many department directors make far less than their counterparts in far smaller communities. And, for that matter, a few Warwick directors make more than their peers in Providence, the state’s largest city.

The comparisons can be found in the state’s 2012 Municipal Salary Survey prepared by the Department of Revenue Division of Municipal Finance.

Mayor Scott Avedisian got the report yesterday to learn that his $100,000 salary placed him 16th on the list of pay for a chief executive. South Kingstown was first at $153,853 and Central Falls was at the bottom at $26,000 (The report notes that the Central Falls salary is not applicable because the municipality is in state-appointed receivership). Ahead of Warwick were towns like Middletown, at $147,350, and Portsmouth, at $126,000.

Avedisian shrugged when he was asked why he was so low on the list.

But not all Warwick salaries are so low.

Ken Mallette, the city’s tax collector/assessor, is the state’s highest paid tax collector at $100,590, ahead of his counterpart in Providence who makes $94,029. But, as Avedisian notes, Mallette wears two hats – collector and assessor – meaning taxpayers aren’t paying the salary of an assessor. The state’s highest paid assessor is in Providence with a salary of $72,143.

On the opening page of the report, Joseph Coduri, supervisor of Local Government Assistance, notes that one person may be doing more than one job.

“The use of comparative salary data must, of necessity, take into consideration factors other than just community population,” he writes.

Nonetheless, the report shows that some Warwick directors are high in the salary rankings in the state and some are also paid considerably more than the mayor.

Edmund Armstrong, with a pay of $122,691, is the state’s highest paid fire chief. Personnel Director Oscar Shelton, who is paid $105,337, ranks second behind Providence. Also second to Providence is Police Chief Col. Stephen McCartney at $118,815. Public Works Acting Director David Picozzi, at $116,310, is highest paid in the state. And the city’s School Superintendent Peter Horoschak, although he is on administrative leave, is third in the state at $162,825, behind the superintendents of Newport and Providence. Providence has the highest superintendent pay at $190,000.

City Finance Director Ernest Zmyslinski makes $118,249, putting him fourth in the state.

High in the rankings, and in line with Providence, are City Clerk Marie Ahlert at $93,037; Planning Director William DePasquale at $97,648; Purchasing Agent James Marcello at $87,292; school business director Anthony Ferrucci at $111,057; director of sewers Janine Burke at $84,891; and City Treasurer David Olsen at $83,412. Olsen is second in pay to the Bristol treasurer, who is paid $91,921.

The report also reflects some anomalies; such as the $15,000 paid to the city’s part-time Probate Judge, Anthony Amalfetano. In Charlestown, which is a far smaller community, the part-time probate judge is paid $54,032. Providence pays the most, at $54,315, for its probate judge.

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