Former Gloversville Police Chief Edgar Beaudin was the highest-paid city employee in 2012, even though he retired in April.
Beaudin collected $23,334 of his $75,836 base pay for the first four months of year, but was able to tack on $49,585 by cashing in sick days, plus $6,070 in holiday pay and $7,747 in vacation pay. This, plus several smaller amounts for various other reasons, gave him a total earnings of $88,960, putting him at the top of the city’s payroll.
Fire and police personnel in Gloversville can receive up to 14 different types of pay. Though none qualifies for all 14, they all get more than their base pay.
The ten highest-paid Gloversville city employees in 2012, with title, base pay and total earnings for the year:
• Edgar Beaudin, police chief, $75,836, $88,960
• Donald VanDeusen, police chief, $88,500, $87,563
• David Rackmyre, fire battalion chief, $59,841, $83,967
• John Sire, police captain, $67,641, $80,489
• Beth Whitman-Putnam, fire chief, $85,000, $78,949
• Anthony Clay, police captain, $67,641, $77,003
• Michael Putnam, fire battalion chief, $59,841, $76,913
• Blair Akers, police sergeant, $58,302, $75,808
• Robert Lindsay, firefighter, $49,545, $75,514
• Glenn Dekanek, police sergeant, $58,302, $75,198
For example, all officers in the police department receive a $200 stipend for command as each may be called upon to act in a command capacity during a shift. The city pays police officers and firefighters for 13 holidays, including one floating holiday. When employees work on a holiday, they receive the straight time plus 12 or eight hours of pay, depending on their schedule. Holiday pay ranged from $1,300 to $4,086.
The other earners on the Top 10 list on the list consist of battalion chiefs, police captains, the fire chief, police sergeants and a firefighter. In most cases, the personnel were able to add thousands to their base pay through various contractual incentives.
For example, almost all cashed in their holiday time, which ranged in amount from $1,837 to $5,154. Almost all received longevity bonuses, which ranged from $1,114 to $3,513. Several received a stipend for having a college degree. One received $3,900 for not taking city-offered health insurance.
Like police officers, firefighters receive regular overtime pay. However, they also receive a special type of overtime pay called safety staffing. Safety staffing helps the fire department maintain minimum staffing requirements in each of the four battalions.
Under the current contract, which expired last month but remains in effect, the city is required to maintain a minimum of seven firefighters per battalion for each 24-hour shift. When staffing falls below seven, the first firefighter called in receives straight time. If a second is called in, that person receives time and a half. Firefighter Robert Lindsay earned $20,000 in overtime pay in 2012, the most of anyone on the Top 10 list.
City Finance Commissioner Bruce VanGenderen said the city has budgeted $169,000 in regular overtime and $125,000 in safety overtime for the fire department, the highest amount for any department.
Mayor Dayton King said spending money on overtime is often cheaper for the city in the long run.
“When you factor in pension costs, health insurance costs and a whole another salary, it is less expensive to pay a little overtime,” he said.
Beaudin was the last city employee allowed to sell back unused sick time to the city upon retirement.
“In the last contract we signed with the Police Benevolent Association, he was exempted,” said VanGenderen.
The PBA and city halted the practice with the 2005 contract, which expired in 2010.
The city also ended the practice of allowing employees to cash in sick days annually, though it still pays employees for unused holiday and vacation time.
Beaudin also was the city’s top earner in 2011, with a base pay of $75,836 and a total of $94,097. He collected $6,700 in holiday buyouts and $4,700 in sick day buyouts. He was the only one in the police department to take advantage of the sick day buyout option that year.
Second on the 2012 list is Beaudin’s successor, Police Chief Donald VanDeusen, with $87,563. His base pay for the part of 2012 in which he was chief was $88,500. He also got $1,300 for holiday time, $2,443 for overtime duty recall, $1,114 for longevity, $1,837 for holiday pay and $148 for command pay.