An Outrageous Fortune

My mom sent me an email with a link to Transparent Nevada, which is a website that is tracking the salaries of public employees in the state of Nevada. As far as I can tell the salaries of METRO (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department) employees are not included in their analysis, but I can tell you that most of those salaries are not outrageous at all. Click on the image to the left to see a list of the top 25 earners in the state. The two yellow triangles next to two names indicate that the amounts shown include termination settlements.

I worked for METRO for six years and I definitely wasn’t making the kind of money even fifty pages into their report. Heck, I wasn’t even making the average they show for Clark County on their site. Granted, I worked there 15-20 years ago, but even adjusting for that, it wasn’t pretty.

How does anyone justify paying a fire battalion chief $643,511.82 in salary, longevity pay, vehicle allowance, clothing allowance, boot allowance, tool allowance, incentive pay, sellbacks, standby and final separation pay? That chief makes more money than 14 “average cost” employees. If you drill down on the fire battalion chief position, you will see that no chief made less than $237,000 in 2008.

Does this even make sense?

Firefighters put their lives in danger every day, or at least the risk is there depending on the type of emergency, but when was the last time any of those fire battalian chiefs carried a hose or entered a burning building?

If this isn’t one of the most outrageous examples of wasted taxpayer (on the state level) dollars, I have no idea what is. Battalion chiefs make a minimum of $237,000, fire captains make a minimum of $167,000, and you have go 45 pages into a 157 page result to find a salary under $100,000.

Are their numbers wrong? Am I missing something? Maybe I moved away from Las Vegas at the wrong time.

Our lives are defined by opportunities. Even the ones we miss.