News

Top Menlo Park fire district compensation for 2017 totaled $378,703

 

Deputy Fire Chief Donald Long had the highest total compensation in the Menlo Park Fire Protection District in 2017, a report recently released by the fire district shows, with 23 other district employees making more than $300,000 that year in salary, benefits and district-paid retirement contributions.

The fire district had the highest average wages of any state or local government agency in California in 2016, according to the state controller's website. That year, 12 district employees topped $300,000 in total compensation.

The report was part of the fire board's consent calendar agenda, approved in a batch with other consent calendar items with no discussion at the April 17 board meeting. It had earlier been reviewed by the district's Finance Committee, but the committee did not make a report on its discussion.

See the staff report on this item here.

The compensation report includes information the district is required to give to the state controller's office, and this year also included how much of each employee's salary was reimbursed by the state or federal government.

This year 11 employees made more in total compensation than Chief Harold Schapelhouman, whose total compensation was $325,585. Two of the 11 were firefighter engineer/medics while the others were at the level of captain or above.

Long had $306,645 in total payroll earnings before taxes, including $12,000 in other pay. With his district-paid retirement and benefits he made $378,703, with $31,366 of that reimbursed to the district.

A division chief was the number two in total compensation with $305,826 in total pre-tax payroll earnings, including lump sum pay of $66,901 and $12,000 in other pay. His total compensation was $375,730, none of it reimbursable.

Number three in total compensation was a firefighter engineer/medic whose $314,786 in total payroll earnings included $148,335 in overtime, lump sum pay of $1,468 and other pay of $12,537. His total compensation was $370,663, with $8,291 of it reimbursable.

The other highest overtime earners in the district were also firefighter engineer/medics. One had $136,367 overtime, with $18,879 of it reimbursable. The third had $114,892 overtime with $14,319 of it reimbursable.

Of the 24 employees with total compensation of $300,000 or more, 18 were of captain rank or higher, and six were firefighter engineer/medics.

The district had 57 employees with total compensation of $250,000 or more, with 26 of those firefighter engineer/medics.

The report lists 136 employees, many of whom did not work a full year.

Four employees had payroll earnings, before district-paid retirement and benefits, of $300,000 or more. One of them was a firefighter engineer/medic.

There were 24 employees with payroll earnings of $250,000 or more, six of them firefighter engineer/medics (who made $66,000 to $148,335 in overtime).

The district had 54 employees with payroll earnings of $200,000 or more.

Four employees had more than $100,000 in overtime, and 24 employees had overtime of $50,000 or more. Half of them were firefighter captain/medics and half were firefighter engineer/medics.

Other pay accounted for between $20,000 to $59,000 for 18 district employees. District Administrative Services Manager Kathleen Jackson said other pay includes a long list of items including extra pay for being bilingual, having a bachelor's degree, living close to the fire district or being a notary, training and deployment stipends, filling in on a job with a higher pay level, and uniform allowances.

Another 11 employees had lump sum pay (for cashing out unused annual leave or comp time) of $20,000 to $66,901.

A total of 19 district employees had pay reimbursable by the state or federal government of between $20,000 to $68,516. The total that was reimbursable was $1.28 million. Schapelhouman said district firefighters responded to 18 incidents outside the fire district in 2017, including wildfires, hurricanes and floods.

In an email statement, the chief said it is "important to understand that actual take home pay may look quite different after taxes" and the employees' share of pension costs, which is 9 to 12 percent of their regular pay. District employees do not pay into or receive Social Security from the federal government.

"Individual employees are not the highest paid in the State but the District as a whole does have one of the highest average rates of pay," Schapelhouman wrote, adding that is because most of the district's employees are first-responders, with only a small support staff.

The lowest minimum (starting) base salary -- before any overtime, extra or lump sum pay -- listed for a district employee in 2017 is $51,054 for an administrative assistant in human resources. The minimum salary for a firefighter in training is listed at $103,302.

Schapelhouman also said "the communities the Fire District serves are also among the wealthiest and most expensive in the Country." The area has low unemployment, "heavily congested roadways and an ultra-expensive and a very limited housing supply," he said.

Fire board President Chuck Bernstein said that as a member of the district's Finance Committee, he had "reviewed the (report's) data at length in our last meeting."

"I believe that District staff have done a good job breaking down some of the categories into component parts so that we can view all the elements of our compensation system," he said. "I am persuaded that the data, as presented, is accurate.

"What we do with it and how it affects our future labor agreements are issues that will be resolved through political and collective bargaining processes, but at least we can be reassured that we will be using accurate numbers," he said.

--

See earlier stories:

Top 2016 pay in Menlo Park Fire Protection District

Cause for alarm? How Menlo Park Fire District pays its employees

Firefighters deserve high pay chief says

--

Sign up for Almanac Express to get news updates. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Or show your support for local journalism by subscribing.

Comments

37 people like this
Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on May 2, 2018 at 11:24 am

"The fire district had the highest average wages of any state or local government agency in California in 2016, according to the state controller's website"

Isn't this Deja vu? Last year there was a different report about the massive amounts of overtime and pay for the MPFPD personnel. When do we say enough? Atherton has the right idea, look at alternatives that see their money better spent. Menlo Park and the other communities should do the same. We voters need to start making demands for fiscal responsibility (Purchasing multi-million dollar houses that won't be needed for a decade then renting them at below market rate to employees, excessive overtime pay, etc.). If they can't refrain from spending like a teenager with a new credit card then I guess we need to find someone who will.


30 people like this
Posted by Entitlement
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 2, 2018 at 1:59 pm

The fire district's budget is not needs based, it's prescribed.

They are running out of ideas on how to spend all of the money they take in.

The District can't burn money fast enough -- it keeps piling up.


28 people like this
Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on May 2, 2018 at 2:10 pm

Entitlement,

Based on just about every story I have read about the MPFPD in the last year, they are certainly trying very hard to spend that money. The problem I have is that it is our money and not theirs and I personally think that the residents in the MPFPD could find better uses for it than over paying, buying properties and leasing them at sub-market rates to employees, etc.


2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 2, 2018 at 2:59 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Some other local public service salaries:



Name Job title Regular pay Total pay &
benefits
Alexander D McIntyre City Manager
Menlo Park, 2016 $227,188.48 $330,237.90



Name Job title Regular pay Total pay &
benefits
John L Maltbie County Manager - Unclassified
San Mateo County, 2017 $373,440.00 $597,524.82
John L Herbert Psychiatric Specialist Hospital Inpatient - Unclassified Supervising Adult Psychiatrist
San Mateo County, 2017 $359,352.19 $565,800.92
John C Beiers County Counsel - Unclassified
San Mateo County, 2017 $316,353.60 $510,579.91
Ceferino J Gonzales Sheriff's Sergeant
San Mateo County, 2017 $155,142.23 $467,833.76
Katalin A Szabo Medical Director Psychiatric Specialist Hospital Inpatient - Unclassified
San Mateo County, 2017 $334,959.00 $467,038.11
John C Thomas Chief Operations Officer, SMMC
San Mateo County, 2017 $252,566.95 $461,680.93
Carlos G Bolanos Sheriff - Elective
San Mateo County, 2017 $263,329.50 $457,331.90
Patricia L Sanchez Undersheriff - Unclassified
San Mateo County, 2017 $240,447.47 $455,054.57
Louise F Rogers Chief Of The Health System
San Mateo County, 2017 $311,382.48 $447,980.29
William R Buchalter Sheriff's Sergeant
San Mateo County, 2017 $155,938.81 $445,113.33
Zachary A Plaut Psychiatric Specialist Hospital Inpatient - Unclassified Supervising Adult Psychiatrist
San Mateo County, 2017 $325,048.03 $443,813.29
Chester J Kunnappilly Chief Executive Officer, San Mateo Medical Center - Unclassified
San Mateo County, 2017 $306,247.25 $432,318.81
Brendan E Scherer Adult Psychiatrist Psychiatric Specialist Hospital Inpatient - Unclassified
San Mateo County, 2017 $304,267.24 $427,676.63
Stephen M Wagstaffe District Attorney - Elective
San Mateo County, 2017 $314,185.60 $426,442.42
Mark C Robbins Assistant Sheriff - Unclassified
San Mateo County, 2017 $221,471.27 $424,482.66
Farah Zaidi Adult Psychiatrist Psychiatric Specialist Hospital Inpatient - Unclassified
San Mateo County, 2017 $361,101.69 $423,916.72
Cameron D Quanbeck Adult Psychiatrist Psychiatric Specialist Hospital Inpatient - Unclassified
San Mateo County, 2017 $309,047.21 $422,050.94
Daniel P Guiney Sheriff's Sergeant
San Mateo County, 2017 $152,487.46 $416,786.63
Michael Sena Director of Welfare Fraud Investigations and NCRIC/HIDTA - Unclassified
San Mateo County, 2017 $221,480.08 $415,764.54
Diana L Wertz Adult Psychiatrist Psychiatric Specialist Hospital Inpatient - Unclassified
San Mateo County, 2017 $328,261.44 $412,560.14
Jeffrey C Kearnan Assistant Sheriff - Unclassified
San Mateo County, 2017 $214,185.14 $411,739.34
Name Withheld Sheriff's Sergeant
San Mateo County, 2017 $157,293.87 $410,836.31
Todd A Finato Sheriff's Sergeant
San Mateo County, 2017 $156,911.33 $410,312.28
Frank L Dal Porto Sheriff's Sergeant
San Mateo County, 2017 $160,542.82 $410,185.94
Jason T Bromley Adult Psychiatrist Psychiatric Specialist Hospital Inpatient - Unclassified
San Mateo County, 2017 $320,225.67 $409,570.96
Daryl F Browne Supervising Child Psychiatrist
San Mateo County, 2017 $319,153.37 $409,264.75
Leo P Capovilla Sheriff's Sergeant
San Mateo County, 2017 $162,836.11 $408,269.84
Karen M Guidotti Assistant District Attorney - Unclassified
San Mateo County, 2017 $262,315.26 $403,730.29
Hector Acosta Sheriff's Sergeant
San Mateo County, 2017 $152,157.18 $402,878.39
Luis D Aquino Sheriff's Sergeant
San Mateo County, 2017 $151,076.14 $402,081.37
Daniel G Vermilion Child Psychiatrist
San Mateo County, 2017 $312,979.76 $401,948.34
Dennis G Loubal Sheriff's Sergeant
San Mateo County, 2017 $153,465.97 $400,782.82
Patrick J Mckenna Deputy Sheriff
San Mateo County, 2017 $131,247.12 $399,951.96
Michael R Coultrip Chief Investment Officer, SamCERA
San Mateo County, 2017 $264,292.80 $399,439.31
Antonino Costa Deputy Sheriff
San Mateo County, 2017 $128,480.44 $397,752.39
Jedediah M Hooper Child Psychiatrist
San Mateo County, 2017 $287,761.89 $396,770.04
Cynthia R Chatterjee Adult Psychiatrist
San Mateo County, 2017 $296,169.90 $393,275.09
Chin P Yang Adult Psychiatrist
San Mateo County, 2017 $270,415.63 $392,508.10
Kenneth L Owen Deputy Sheriff
San Mateo County, 2017 $128,480.51 $392,038.42
Larry W Edwards Sheriff's Sergeant
San Mateo County, 2017 $155,142.23 $388,935.03
David Spinello Deputy Sheriff
San Mateo County, 2017 $124,871.21 $388,689.88
John W Munsey Sheriff's Captain
San Mateo County, 2017 $197,554.62 $388,002.60
Anand Chabra Medical Director
San Mateo County, 2017 $262,387.70 $386,194.01
Mark T Kuykendall Sheriff's Captain
San Mateo County, 2017 $197,658.19 $384,600.35
Scott A Morrow County Health Officer
San Mateo County, 2017 $262,922.40 $383,594.72
Robert J Pronske Sheriff's Sergeant
San Mateo County, 2017 $162,836.15 $382,550.84
Hung-Ming Chu Supervising Adult Psychiatrist
San Mateo County, 2017 $291,583.27 $382,009.14
Juanchito D Crisostomo Adult Psychiatrist
San Mateo County, 2017 $272,858.28 $381,829.18
Alyse Gabriel Adult Psychiatrist
San Mateo County, 2017 $274,924.61 $380,533.31
Roger S Copeland Sheriff's Captain
San Mateo County, 2017 $197,658.21 $380,195.26

And some other firefighters' sa;ries:


Name Job title Regular pay Total pay &
benefits
Todd D Milan
(See note) FIREFIGHTER/56.3
Vallejo, 2016 $0.00 $1,992,813.80
Daniel L Griffin Firefighter Paramedic
San Ramon Valley Fire Protection, 2016 $97,675.00 $440,170.00
Donn D Thompson Firefighter III
Los Angeles, 2016 $88,358.40 $439,484.82
Thomas G McKenzie Firefighter Paramedic
San Ramon Valley Fire Protection, 2016 $97,675.00 $371,505.00
Michael Ayala Firefighter
Santa Monica, 2016 $104,142.00 $359,994.00
KEVIN COFFELT FIREFIGHTER/PARAMEDIC
Redondo Beach, 2016 $81,071.85 $358,148.80
Owen P Doyle Firefighter
San Ramon Valley Fire Protection, 2016 $97,675.00 $352,962.00
Curt S Wasserman Firefighter III
Los Angeles, 2016 $87,792.15 $351,910.10
Joshua R Ornelas Firefighter III
Los Angeles, 2016 $88,358.40 $343,505.36
Lyman E Hubbard Firefighter Paramedic
San Ramon Valley Fire Protection, 2016 $97,675.00 $343,412.00
Bryce Johnson Firefighter
Santa Monica, 2016 $104,142.00 $341,560.00
Mark A. Mirchandani Firefighter Paramedic
San Ramon Valley Fire Protection, 2016 $96,470.60 $338,529.60
Demian M. Bannister Firefighter Paramedic
San Ramon Valley Fire Protection, 2016 $97,675.00 $337,035.00
Michael Handel Firefighter Engineer
Santa Clara County Central Fire Protection District, 2016 $136,546.51 $335,099.30
Casey M. Rivers Firefighter Paramedic
San Ramon Valley Fire Protection, 2016 $97,675.00 $332,311.00
Armando Gabaldon Firefighter III
Los Angeles, 2016 $87,950.03 $332,000.63
James Charron FIREFIGHTER PARAMEDIC 112
Beverly Hills, 2016 $129,726.92 $328,561.39
Martin Peterkinson Firefighter Engineer
Santa Clara County Central Fire Protection District, 2016 $136,546.51 $325,836.92
Derek Sandeman FIREFIGHTER PARAMEDIC 112
Beverly Hills, 2016 $126,041.13 $325,577.61
Arthur Marshall Firefighter Engineer
Santa Clara County Central Fire Protection District, 2016 $136,546.56 $325,399.03
Christopher L. Cunningham Firefighter Paramedic
San Ramon Valley Fire Protection, 2016 $97,675.00 $324,880.00
Daniel Galvan Firefighter
Santa Monica, 2016 $104,142.00 $324,472.00
Chin Chien Huang Firefighter
Orange County Fire Authority, 2016 $89,358.00 $323,337.00
Michael Yeun Firefighter
Orange County Fire Authority, 2016 $88,610.00 $322,138.00
Charles G Ford Firefighter Engineer
Vallejo, 2016 $98,383.00 $320,409.48
Brian A. Olson Firefighter Paramedic
San Ramon Valley Fire Protection, 2016 $97,675.00 $320,300.00
Bradford Mchenry FIREFIGHTER PARAMEDIC 112
Beverly Hills, 2016 $129,726.92 $319,596.69
Scott F. Dwyer Firefighter Paramedic
San Ramon Valley Fire Protection, 2016 $97,675.00 $318,529.00
James R Callison Firefighter III
Los Angeles, 2016 $87,966.35 $318,181.08
Mark Hogan Firefighter
Fremont, 2016 $101,095.00 $317,634.00
Jose M Perez Firefighter III
Los Angeles, 2016 $88,358.40 $317,050.88
John Drake EMT/Paramedic/Firefighter
San Francisco, 2016 $131,514.26 $316,677.20
David S. Gery Firefighter Paramedic
San Ramon Valley Fire Protection, 2016 $97,675.00 $315,818.00
Michael W. Bakalar Firefighter Paramedic
San Ramon Valley Fire Protection, 2016 $97,675.00 $315,057.00
Daryl L Case Firefighter Paramedic
San Ramon Valley Fire Protection, 2016 $97,675.00 $315,012.00
Kurt Beeson FIREFIGHTER PARAMEDIC 112
Beverly Hills, 2016 $129,726.92 $314,978.28
Luis F. Guzman Firefighter Paramedic
San Ramon Valley Fire Protection, 2016 $97,675.00 $313,696.00
Christopher Eberle Firefighter Paramedic
San Ramon Valley Fire Protection, 2016 $96,063.80 $313,579.80
Todd Freiermuth Firefighter Engineer
Santa Clara County Central Fire Protection District, 2016 $136,546.51 $313,388.81
Thomas J Stanfill Firefighter
Santa Monica, 2016 $104,142.00 $311,994.00
John Kafoury Firefighter
Orange County Fire Authority, 2016 $88,258.00 $311,373.00
Eric Kraule Firefighter Engineer
Santa Clara County Central Fire Protection District, 2016 $109,557.28 $310,885.84
Ryan Siegel FIREFIGHTER PARAMEDIC 112
Beverly Hills, 2016 $129,726.92 $309,943.71
William Hencke Firefighter
Orange County Fire Authority, 2016 $88,818.00 $309,054.00
Brian Raymond Firefighter
Orange County Fire Authority, 2016 $89,046.00 $308,945.00
Jason Lucero Firefighter Engineer
Santa Clara County Central Fire Protection District, 2016 $142,753.10 $308,635.37
Matthew Gwaltney FIREFIGHTER PARAMEDIC 112
Beverly Hills, 2016 $129,726.92 $308,229.84
Chris Back Firefighter
Monterey, 2016 $93,127.00 $307,457.00
Brandon J. Eynck Firefighter Paramedic
San Ramon Valley Fire Protection, 2016 $97,675.00 $306,891.00
John T. Martin Firefighter Paramedic
San Ramon Valley Fire Protection, 2016 $97,675.00 $305,886.00


31 people like this
Posted by Wake UP
a resident of Atherton: other
on May 2, 2018 at 3:09 pm

What all these posts show is how out-of-control pubic sector compensation has become in California. Rather than just post examples that are more egregious, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT, Peter Carpenter. Show the leadership you were elected to exercise, and start the reforms necessary in our own backyard.


31 people like this
Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on May 2, 2018 at 3:21 pm

Peter,

I think you missed this...

"The fire district had the highest average wages of any state or local government agency in California in 2016, according to the state controller's website"

Wake up and stop wasting our money.


52 people like this
Posted by Wood R
a resident of Atherton: other
on May 2, 2018 at 3:21 pm

Police and fire have been out of control for years. Carpenter will *never* admit it or do anything about our tax dollars being wasted.

Now he filibusters! Great debate.

Atherton needs to find another solution.


2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 2, 2018 at 3:26 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Fire Chief's salaries:


Name Job title Regular pay Total pay &
benefits
Peter H Daley III
(See note) FIRE CHIEF
Yuba City, 2016 $178,193.60 $534,907.02
Paige W. Meyer Fire Chief
San Ramon Valley Fire Protection, 2016 $243,336.00 $516,344.00
Curtis P Jacobson Fire Chief U
San Jose, 2016 $218,740.73 $460,157.00
Ralph Mundell FIRE CHIEF
Beverly Hills, 2016 $270,526.07 $454,153.82
Marshall Brian Fire Chief & Director of Emergency Services
Kern County, 2016 $193,998.25 $453,934.11
David White Fire Chief
Culver City, 2016 $192,783.41 $453,689.87
Steven Martin ASSISTANT FIRE CHIEF
Los Angeles County, 2016 $185,011.00 $448,564.00
Michael Wilson Fire Chief
Vernon, 2016 $187,072.00 $443,568.00
David Grate FIRE BATTALION CHIEF 112
Beverly Hills, 2016 $184,693.48 $443,124.66
Mark Lorenzen County Fire Chief
Ventura County, 2016 $238,607.00 $441,642.00
Angel Montoya DEPUTY FIRE CHIEF, EMER OPNS (UC)
Los Angeles County, 2016 $252,447.00 $438,880.00
Scott Poster FIRE CHIEF
Newport Beach, 2016 $228,067.56 $430,471.56
Stephen Hickman Fire Chief
Montecito Fire Protection, 2016 $234,888.00 $428,741.75
Joanne M Hayes-White Chief, Fire Department
San Francisco, 2016 $307,927.50 $428,283.32
Raymond A Guzman Battalion Chief, Fire Suppress
San Francisco, 2016 $188,414.56 $428,264.62
Kenneth Harrison Fire Battalion Chief
Orange County Fire Authority, 2016 $151,109.00 $428,259.00
Joseph Matsch FIRE BATTALION CHIEF 112
Beverly Hills, 2016 $184,693.49 $428,156.20
Chadwyn S Thompson Fire Battalion Chief - 40 hrs
Anaheim, 2016 $180,673.12 $424,249.48
Martin A Serna Fire Chief
Torrance, 2016 $229,607.00 $422,215.00
Jeffrey S Ryder Fire Battalion Chief
Vacaville, 2016 $131,662.51 $415,606.52
James Schiller Fire Battalion Chief
Ontario, 2016 $174,208.84 $414,946.56
Timothy Perkins Fire Battalion Chief
Orange County Fire Authority, 2016 $148,455.00 $414,817.00
Cliff Bramlette Fire Battalion Chief
Orange County Fire Authority, 2016 $152,843.00 $412,895.00
William J Samp Fire Battalion Chief-Manager
Torrance, 2016 $115,981.00 $412,039.00
Michael Mondino Fire Battalion Chief
Ontario, 2016 $177,011.03 $411,664.43
Robert B Elwell Fire Chief
Ontario, 2016 $203,214.00 $411,406.55
Adam J Brolan Deputy Fire Chief
Novato Fire Protection District, 2016 $196,449.00 $411,405.00
John Tripp Jr DEPUTY FIRE CHIEF, EMER OPNS (UC)
Los Angeles County, 2016 $252,231.00 $411,087.00
Mark A Heine Fire Chief
Novato Fire Protection District, 2016 $189,462.00 $410,411.00
Joseph Crivello Deputy Fire Chief U
San Jose, 2016 $160,377.54 $409,695.88
Paul B Ehrman Fire Battalion Chief
Ontario, 2016 $163,210.79 $408,886.84
Steve Edwards Fire Battalion Chief
Orange County Fire Authority, 2016 $153,826.00 $408,705.00
Michael Petro Fire Battalion Chief
Orange County Fire Authority, 2016 $152,639.00 $407,967.00
David A Dumais Deputy Fire Chief
Torrance, 2016 $173,102.00 $407,164.00
William H Reardon Fire Division Chief
Huntington Beach, 2016 $202,526.50 $406,545.04
Scott Stephens FIRE BATTALION CHIEF 80
Beverly Hills, 2016 $184,693.43 $405,832.52
Ronald Roberts Fire Battalion Chief
Orange County Fire Authority, 2016 $152,843.00 $405,104.00
Michael A Hansen Fire Battalion Chief-Manager
Torrance, 2016 $131,106.00 $404,525.00
Tommey Massey ASSISTANT FIRE CHIEF
Los Angeles County, 2016 $232,222.00 $404,062.00
Gregory Barton DEPUTY FIRE CHIEF
Beverly Hills, 2016 $245,932.48 $403,780.09
Robert Snow Fire Battalion Chief
Ontario, 2016 $174,438.68 $402,797.29
Jeffrey Maxwell Fire Chief
Central Fire Protection District (Santa Cruz), 2016 $166,763.00 $400,988.00
Michael Bowden Assistant Fire Chief
Culver City, 2016 $165,977.62 $400,369.14
Mark A Hartwig BG Co Fire Chief
Consolidated Fire Agencies of San Bernardino County, 2016 $188,761.00 $400,142.00
Robert Mihovich Fire Chief
Milpitas, 2016 $207,977.90 $399,612.29
Philip Cocker ASSISTANT FIRE CHIEF
Los Angeles County, 2016 $220,281.00 $398,747.00
Dennis Gomez Fire Battalion Chief
Orange County Fire Authority, 2016 $145,503.00 $398,444.00
Stephen B Healy FIRE CHIEF
Moraga-Orinda Fire Protection District, 2016 $223,141.17 $395,751.13
William G Kelly Fire Chief
Santa Clara, 2016 $253,638.00 $395,506.71
Kenny Dossey Fire Battalion Chief
Orange County Fire Authority, 2016 $138,331.00 $392,116.00


7 people like this
Posted by Bob
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on May 2, 2018 at 3:43 pm

Go to transparentcalifornia.com if you want to see salaries, etc. It's no wonder that public officials are so well compensated, have great retirement packages and get all the holidays off. And to get rid of one of the is an overwhelming process.


4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 2, 2018 at 3:46 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

In 2016 there were over 200 Fire Chief's in California who were paid more that the highest paid MPFPD Chief.

And in 2016 there were more than 3000 firefighters in California who were paid more than the highest paid MPFPD firefighter.


It is easy to start with a headline and then narrow the focus of a story so that the story supports the headline.


33 people like this
Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on May 2, 2018 at 5:09 pm

The fact that you keep ignoring the statement:

"The fire district had the highest average wages of any state or local government agency in California in 2016, according to the state controller's website"

Is very telling. While you may try to side track the argument with misdirection what most of us see is actually mismanagement.

You focus on the Fire Chief salary, did you read the article?

"This year 11 employees made more in total compensation than Chief Harold Schapelhouman, whose total compensation was $325,585. Two of the 11 were firefighter engineer/medics while the others were at the level of captain or above."

This is last year all over again and we are tired of it.


2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 2, 2018 at 5:11 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Just deal with the facts - In 2016 there were over 200 Fire Chief's in California who were paid more that the highest paid MPFPD Chief.

And in 2016 there were more than 3000 firefighters in California who were paid more than the highest paid MPFPD firefighter.


31 people like this
Posted by Train Fan
a resident of another community
on May 2, 2018 at 5:23 pm

I think Brian's point is spot on. This sentence is the crux of the article:

"The fire district had the highest average wages of any state or local government agency in California in 2016, according to the state controller's website"

Dancing around this just means it'll get reposted every time it's intentionally ignored.


4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 2, 2018 at 5:32 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

""In past years, the fire district has had the highest average pay of any government agency in California. "

2016 - true
2015 - false - 2nd
2014 - true
2013 - false - 5th
2102 - false - 5th
2011 - false - 4th
2010 - false - 9th
2009 - false - 5th


The 2017 figures have not yet been compiled - so the reporter simply used last year's data.


30 people like this
Posted by Roy Thiele-Sardiña
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 2, 2018 at 5:56 pm

Roy Thiele-Sardiña is a registered user.

Peter,

this is ONE category (list) that being in the top 20 is not good (unlike College Football Rankings).

Being in the Top 5 for five consecutive years and the top 10 for a decade is quite frankly embarrassing and no amount of misdirection of obfuscation is going to make it better.....it just looks petty and makes you look uniformed (which you are not). One must own up to the facts, and admit that the pay and benefits MIGHT be a little excessive. just sayin'

Roy Thiele-Sardina


2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 2, 2018 at 6:00 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Roy - the easy way to lower the average would be to hire a lot of low paid employees - not a very good idea.

Smart people look at all the data not just one data point.


4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 2, 2018 at 6:48 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

For example of West Bay Sanitary District's 39 employees 10 make less than $3000 - that does a very nice job of pulling down the average.


24 people like this
Posted by Less Funding
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 2, 2018 at 8:31 pm

Since those who are responsible of managing budgets won’t change course - maybe Menlo Park residents need to do what ever it takes to remove the obvious and unnecessary surplus in funding. Thoughts?

Peter - two wrongs don’t make a right. Listing high salaries in the public sector just shows you aren’t the only over funded district. The stockpile of cash is immense, your spending is aggressive, and you probably understand that the leak needs to be fixed already.

Also what does the median pay look like? Top 10%? Top 20%? Those seem like better targets benchmarks for a fiscally responsible fire district.

Do Menlo Park residents have any recourse rather than watching our money go up in smoke? Seems clear that the fire board is intent on keeping the money train flowing...


4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 2, 2018 at 8:51 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

The Fie District:
1 - has a balanced budget
2 - has no parcel tax
3 - has no taxpayer funded bond debt
4 - has funded reserves for its pension liabilities
5 - has funded reserves for replacing its buildings
6 - has funded reserves for replacing its apparatus
7 - has zero service complaints
8 - attracts hundreds of job applicants because of its reputation as one of the best fire agencies in the Nation
9 - pays salaries that are almost all the result of negotiated labor agreements that cannot be unilaterally changed
10 - pays its highest individual salaries that are less than hundreds of other California fire chiefs and thousands of other California firefighters.


17 people like this
Posted by Tough Love
a resident of another community
on May 3, 2018 at 6:39 am

Quoting Peter Carpenter ..............

"8 - attracts hundreds of job applicants because of its reputation as one of the best fire agencies in the Nation
9 - pays salaries that are almost all the result of negotiated labor agreements that cannot be unilaterally changed"

Sure, it attracts "thunders of job applicants" because the compensation is off-the-wall too generous and UNNECESSARY.

And who at that "negotiating table" is looking out for the financial interests of the Towns Taxpayers ? NOBODY !


4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 3, 2018 at 8:14 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

As the forthcoming Almanac report on all public service compensation will show the Fire District is far from being the highest paying public service agency on the State. Hundreds of fire chief earn more than does the highest earning MPFPD Chief and thousands of firefighters earn more than the highest paid MPFPD firefighter.


14 people like this
Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on May 3, 2018 at 8:39 am

Peter,

Your obfuscation of facts and attempting to defend something as bad at this over spending of taxpayer money is ridiculous. I doubt what everyou say has any credibility with the readers here, it is just humorous how you are trying to defend yourself and district and come out looking even worse. To me it looks like you are trying to convince everyone that the Emporer not only has clothes but that they are made of the finest silk and jewels, sorry no one is buying it...


14 people like this
Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on May 3, 2018 at 9:00 am

I guess Peter does not care about the facts, but everyone should check out the link in the article. It is for the State Controllers site and lists the highest paid districts. Menlo Park Fire Protection District is not only at the top of the average pay for all agencies in the state, it tops the next highest by over $23,000. This is comparing everything from local government, special districts, state agencies, Education districts, etc. Any way you cut it MPFPD tops the list with the highest Average. Sure there may be higher paid chiefs, the Article even pointed out that there were 11 people in the MPFPD paid more than the chief. The bottom line is the Average pay is the HIGHEST in the state, it’s not "Fake News" or data created by the Almanac. The data comes from the State Controller and has a lot more believability than any of the weak or misleading arguments being put forth in these comments.


4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 3, 2018 at 9:13 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Brian - Why are you so focussed on asingle 2016 data point when I have provided you with literally thousands of other data points?


Web Link


California's largest public pay and pension database.


15 people like this
Posted by Who is Driving the Bus?
a resident of Atherton: other
on May 3, 2018 at 9:34 am

The MPFPD is a small to medium sized agency, I would expect to find higher paid management personnel at larger more complex departments. A survey of local salaries, which reflects the high cost of housing, should come close to a market based salary for rank and file personnel. Which leaves me wondering why the District is considering subsidized or free housing for the next chief. Pay a market based salary, taking housing costs and other local agency salaries into account to attract quality candidates. The idea of the District playing the role of a benevolent uncle to provide housing is filled with many, many unknown risks and downsides and is a dumb, ill-conceived idea. The District should pay what it must to attract quality candidates and stay out of the housing business.


12 people like this
Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on May 3, 2018 at 9:51 am

"Brian - Why are you so focussed on asingle 2016 data point when I have provided you with literally thousands of other data points?"

And not a single one relevant to the topic. This article is not about the Chief being the highest paid in California, it is about the entire department being the highest paid in California. Myself and just about every other person commenting here all agree, you are not spending our money wisely and you are trying to defend it by misdirection. Atherton has the right idea and this just gives them more ammunition. I hope Menlo decides to follow suit.


4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 3, 2018 at 10:52 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Brian - Let's agree that we disagree on what the relevant facts are.

Here is the Compensation Policy followed by the Board - what specifically would you change?

5.12 Fire Board Employee Compensation Policy
The Fire Board values its represented and unrepresented employees and seeks to provide equitable compensation for each group and classification. The District’s Board of Directors may observe this policy when adopting compensation plans and contracts covering District employees.
Principle No. 1 – Recruitment and Retention: Compensation should, when economically feasible, be set at a level sufficient to recruit and retain employees who are qualified and committed to provide high quality services to the community. One critical measure of whether compensation meets this criterion is whether there are a sufficient number of qualified applicants for advertised job openings.
Principle No. 2 – Fairness: The Board may strive to ensure its compensation
program is fair and equitable from all legitimate perspectives, including the perspectives of the community, labor and management. The District may choose to survey public and private employers to evaluate the appropriateness and fairness of its compensation program. The Board is directly accountable to the District’s constituents, and the Board accordingly retains the discretion to determine the fairness of all compensation programs.
Principle No. 3 – Transparency: Compensation for all District employees should be 100% transparent – i.e., the public should be able to see all pay elements, including the cost of all health, pension and welfare benefits, applicable to each employee. District pay packages should be simple and easily understood. Safeguards must be in place to prevent abuses such as pension spiking and maximizing overtime through manipulation.
Principle No. 4 – Fiscal Sustainability: All compensation commitments must be
made consistent with principles of fiscal sustainability and to ensure the District’s long term success in achieving its mission. Compensation adjustments must not compromise the District’s ability to successfully meet its ongoing and future financial commitments. The Board may observe its Labor Relations Policy and Plan.
Principle No. 5 – Accountability: All compensation commitments must be expressly delineated and are subject to formal approval by the Board of Directors. The Board will not abide “implied” or unwritten contracts, or unspecified “past practices,” that purport to require employee compensation.
Principle No. 6 – Performance Based Pay: Whenever reasonably possible,
compensation may be tied to merit and performance. The District may not permit pay increases based merely on the length of employment.
Principle No. 7 – Economic Climate: The District may consider the overall economic climate and condition affecting the District and its constituents when setting compensation levels, including regional economic indicators such as the rate of unemployment, inflation, current and projected revenues, and the District’s anticipated ability to pay in the long term.
Principle No. 8 – Legal Compliance: The District will ensure that its pay practices
comport with the Fair Labor Standards Act and, to the extent legally applicable, State law. The District renews its commitment to negotiate in good faith with labor pursuant to the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act (“MMBA”), and to abide by all requirements of the MMBA.
Principle No. 9 – Flexibility: The District may strive to remain flexible and
innovative in light of changing conditions and improving technologies, and may
continually re-evaluate its pay practices to ensure they are consistent with best practices.
5.13 Collective Bargaining Agreement
It is the policy of the District Board to engage in discussions for the purpose of reaching agreements with recognized employee groups (Represented Safety, Represented Miscellaneous, Unrepresented Safety, Unrepresented Confidential and Chief Officers), as required in the Meyers Milas-Brown Act. The District Board should not directly engage in negotiations itself but reserves the right to delegate to:
(1) The Fire Chief
(2) A contract negotiator
(3) A designee
the responsibility of negotiating with employee groups. During contract negotiations a Board member should limit communication with the bargaining group on matters pertaining to the negotiation. Board members shall not negotiate directly with represented labor groups and cannot agree to anything as an individual or on behalf of the Board while bargaining is underway.
The Memorandum of Understanding ( MOU) is entered into by and between the MENLO PARK FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT (District), a California Special District and the MENLO PARK FIREFIGHTERS DISTRICT 10 OF THE
INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FIREFIGHTERS, LOCAL 2400 (Union), and the AMERICAN FEDERATION OF STATE, COUNTY, MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES LOCAL 829 (Union), pursuant to Government Code 3500, et seq.
The MOUs, including side letters to such, is of no force or in effect in regard to matters within the authority of the District Board of Directors until such matters are submitted to, and accepted by, the District Board of Directors.
5.14 Sunshine Policy
It is Board Policy to be open and transparent in accordance with the law. Accordingly, any collectively bargained labor agreement between the District and a recognized employee association shall be made publicly available for thirty (30) days before the meeting at which the agreement will be acted on by the Board of Directors.


13 people like this
Posted by Peter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 3, 2018 at 12:57 pm

I totally disagree with this person (Peter C) and will do all I can to make sure he doesn't get re-elected or serve on any more public boards.

I think its time Peter left the Fire Board and that an independent review is done by the people for the people.


19 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 3, 2018 at 1:02 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

My current term and almost 16 years of service on the Fire Board ends this December

I can assure you that I would not even consider running for reelection - even though the three time i ran I received more votes than any other candidate.


4 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 3, 2018 at 2:47 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

What you all don't seem to understand is that the money the MPFPD receives is the same regardless who is sitting on that board. It is state mandated. If you want to change how much they get screaming and yelling here about how terrible the board is isn't going to get it done. You have to go to the state level to change it. Replacing the entire board won't have even a minuscule effect.

This agency by almost any financial metrics you want to apply is a very well managed agency. Is it because they receive so much money that it's easy to cover all costs and have a surplus? Maybe. If you really don't like it, see the paragraph above.


13 people like this
Posted by Who is Driving the Bus?
a resident of Atherton: other
on May 3, 2018 at 3:19 pm

Menlo Voter: I do not hear people "screaming and yelling" about how much is flowing to the District. Rather, I hear concerned citizens expressing their concerns about how their scarce tax dollars are being spent. There is a broad consensus the District is not spending its resources wisely, or efficiently. The District is a public service agency, funded by our tax dollars, not some sacred cow above reproach.


5 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 3, 2018 at 3:36 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

" There is a broad consensus the District is not spending its resources wisely, or efficiently."

Five posters do not represent a broad consensus.

79% of the voters approved a $10 million increase in the District's expenditure limit.

The Fire District:
1 - has a balanced budget
2 - has no parcel tax
3 - has no taxpayer funded bond debt
4 - has funded reserves for its pension liabilities
5 - has funded reserves for replacing its buildings
6 - has funded reserves for replacing its apparatus
7 - has zero service complaints


I challenge any other local agency to meet those standards.


4 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 3, 2018 at 4:22 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

Who:

so the district should just put that money in the bank and sit on it? They already have surpluses. You want to make them bigger? To what end?


3 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 3, 2018 at 4:41 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Here is the District's Fund Balance Policy :

Web Link

To my knowledge the Fire District is the ONLY local agency which charges itself the true current cost of pensions and then it reserves the excess of what CalPERS charges each year in order to have the funds when CalPERS is forced to charge more in the future.

The Fire District also funds reserves for the depreciation of its facilities and apparatus and therefore does not turn to new bond measures to fund new facilities, purchase land or new apparatus.

All of the District's recent land purchases were paid for from these reserves rather than, like other agencies, using a bond measure to raise the necessary funds.


3 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 3, 2018 at 5:14 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"CALPERS FUNDING
Along with many other local agencies, the District contracts with the California Public Employees
Retirement System (CalPERS) for the defined benefit retirement plan, which covers all regular
permanent employees. Even before most District employees received a wage increase, labor costs
had continued to rise. The labor cost increases in FY2017-18 are partially due to the rising cost of
pension and health care benefits.
CalPERS experienced significant investment losses in FY2008-09 and consequently the employer
rates have been increasing. In FY2007-08, the Board approved setting aside funds in a reserve to
mitigate the impact of CalPERS employer rate fluctuations on the General Fund. In FY2010-11,
the Finance Committee recommended a new budgeting structure to better manage and plan for
employer rate fluctuations. The budgeted employer rate was set at a higher rate than the actual rate
and the difference was allocated to the reserve fund. In FY2016-17, the reserve fund had
accumulated to $6.2 million and the District approved resolution #1903-2017 to pay down the
Safety Group CalPERS Unfunded Actuarial Liability (UAL). In FY2017-18, the District will
continue to budget at the higher rate than the actual rate and allocate the difference to the reserve
fund to pay down the UAL in the future. "


12 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 3, 2018 at 7:47 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Rereading this thread I have the following comments:
1 - I respect the right of citizens to challenge their elected officials
2 - I note that every Fire Board agenda includes the following:
"PUBLIC COMMENT #1
A fundamental element of democracy is the right of citizens to address their elected representatives. Therefore under Public Comment #1, the public may address the Board on any subject not listed on the Agenda. Each speaker may address the Board for a limit of three minutes. The filing of speaker cards is not mandatory, but is helpful in creating an accurate record. The Board cannot act on items not on the agenda and therefore the Board cannot respond to non-agenda issues brought up under Public Comment other than to provide general information. District policy assures members of the public the opportunity to speak to any regular or special meeting agenda item before final action. This opportunity to speak is during the public discussion of each agenda item and must be related to matters under consideration for that agenda item."

3 - I also believe that each citizen has a responsibility to be informed before alleging misconduct or irresponsibility by their elected officials.

4 - I find nothing in the posted comments to suggest that the individuals involved fulfilled their responsibility to be so informed.

5 - I appreciate the opportunity to provide factual responses to the unfounded allegations that have been made.

6 - I welcome both further questions and informed criticism.


6 people like this
Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on May 4, 2018 at 8:33 am

Menlo,

I seem to recall the MPFPD looking to assess a fee on developers like Facebook when they build larger building to cover the additional costs to support those buildings, that seems like a greedy move given the current spending and surplus of cash that lets them buy property they won't need for many years then rent it out to personnel that are already making huge salaries with overtime at a below market rate. There was a SJ Mercury News artile regarding the "Impact Fees" on May 19, 2017 titled: "menlo-park-fire-district-to-seek-impact-fees-from-developers-not-cities"


3 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 4, 2018 at 8:48 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Brian - note the impact fees charged by school districts and sanitary districts on new developments. Those fees are used to increase capacity for a particular service and are properly borne by the new developer that creates that additional need rather than being paid for by the current users. Do you think such fees are greedy?


1 person likes this
Posted by cj
a resident of Atherton: other
on May 4, 2018 at 1:16 pm

The fact that there are hundreds of applicants for positions says it all about what a sweet deal this is for the Menlo Park Fire Department. With all of the fire safety measures in place, being a firefighter is just not that dangerous a job. Mostly medical calls. Otherwise time spent working out in the state of the art gym at the firehouse and shopping at Safeway. Stop the madness!


Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 4, 2018 at 2:09 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

Brian:

as Peter noted, there are many agencies that charge developers and homeowners impact fees for construction.

You didn't answer my question. Since the flow of money won't stop unless something is done at the state level to stop it, the district should just put that money in the bank and sit on it? They already have surpluses. You want to make them bigger? To what end?


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Global Warming Diet
By Laura Stec | 6 comments | 1,259 views

Couples: "Taming Your Gremlin" by Richard Carson
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,109 views

Preparing for kindergarten
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 612 views

 

Pre-registration ends today!

On Friday, September 21, join us at the Palo Alto Baylands for a 5K walk, 5K run, 10K run, or—for the first time—half marathon! All proceeds benefit local nonprofits serving children and families.

Learn More