As Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig and the Board of Mayor and Aldermen overrode the city’s tax cap to add about $4.5 million for city employee raises, Girard at-Large submitted a Right to Know request for last year’s city employee payroll. The numbers are eye opening.
Airport Director Ted Kitchens led all employees, raking in $234,886.26 in 2021. The airport is not funded by city taxpayers.
At $199,365.77, Brian Cosio, a police officer, was the city’s number two wage earner. Third was Fire Captain James Kelly at 190,968.85. Police Captain Sean Leighton was fourth with 184,162.92. Firefighter Steven Goupil rounded out the top five at $183,160.03.
All totaled, 255 Manchester city employees earned more than $100,000 in 2021. Of that total, 116 were police officers and 81 were firefighters.
These are salary totals paid by the city. They do not include benefit costs paid by the city on those salaries, which include health and dental insurance, social security and medicare taxes, and pension assessments to either the New Hampshire Retirement System or the Manchester Retirement System.
Our request for the employee information in an Excel spreadsheet was denied. For some reason, the city would only provide PDF documents. Our request to have one document that provided the employee’s name, salary and position was also denied. Instead, we were provided two documents; one that showed the employee’s name and salary and another that showed the employee’s name and position. The city claimed this is how the data was maintained in their “system.” Therefore, both documents must be used to determine the employee’s salary and position. This is a difficult task because the salary list is alphabetized by last name by department. The position list is alphabetized by last name and then by divisions within the departments. In some cases, such as with Brian Cosio, we were unable to determine the employee’s position because we could not find their names on the position list.
Finally, as this is simply the amount of money paid to any and all city employees in 2021, we are unable to determine what percentage of employees broke six figures as we cannot identify those who are part time employees nor can we identify those who worked only part of the year. This data does not include school district employees.
Below are links to stories published by Girard at Large about the most recent city budget. They should give you some background against which to consider this information.