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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 29, 2009 8:04 AM. The previous post in this blog was Why are taxpayers paying Paulson's peanut vendors?. The next post in this blog is Do it right. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Friday, May 29, 2009

Top dog at Metro: $197K (and on the outs)

Following up on our recent posts about what the top executives make at Tri-Met and Oregon Public Broadcasting, we decided to ask Metro -- Portland's unique (the polite term) regional government -- for similar information about its employees. Amy Davis, the agency's payroll chief, responded with a spreadsheet showing the many hundreds of Metro employees, their titles, and what they earned in the last 12 months. As she describes it: "The wages listed are accurate for each job title and the sum of all wages for each employee reflect the total wages paid over the last 24 pay periods representing 12 month’s compensation." Some employees are listed twice because their job titles within Metro changed in that timeframe.

The spreadsheet made it relatively easy for us to sort the workers out by pay level, but the job-title-changers had to be hunted down, and there were several of those in the top ranks.

We count 38 people at the $100,000-plus level. Six make more than $150,000; 13 make more than $125,000. At the tippy-top of the pyramid is David Woolson (right), listed as "general manager," at $197,193. This is a really interesting entry, given that according to the O, Woolson's been asked to leave his post as the general manager of the Metropolitan Exposition Recreation Commission, and the paper gives his salary as only $175,000. Hey, what's 22 grand among friends? I'm sure there's an explanation.

Anyway, next on the list is Michael Jordan, chief operating officer, at $182,663. Only around a hundred bucks behind Jordan is Richard Blandman, who held two different transportation-related posts; together, these paid him $181,629. The rest of the top 10 are as follows:

Cooper, Daniel B.Metro Attorney$163,554.54
Blosser, Jeffrey A.Executive Director - Oregon Convention Center$160,641.23
Robinson, Scott R.Deputy Chief Operating Officer & Director II$153,382.53
Desmond, James L.Director & Director II$140,969.04
Cotugno, Andrew C.Director II & Policy Advisor II$140,574.16
Taylor, Kathleen A.Deputy General Manager$133,735.25
Vecchio, Anthony J.Director & Director II$131,844.00

Whereas the average exec in the top 20 at Tri-Met is making a cool $160,135 this year, over the past year at Metro, the average employee in the top 20 made $140,170.

The whole spreadsheet for Metro is here. The sum total of all the compensation listed is $51,953,572.30. That's no zoo doo, folks.

Coming Monday: the Port of Portland.

UPDATE, 5/31, 4:30 a.m.: A couple of two-title-holders slipped past us in the original version of this post. They're nos. 7 and 8 overall:

Desmond, James L. - Director & Director II - $140,969.04
Cotugno, Andrew C. - Director II & Policy Advisor II - $140,574.16

We have revised the post to add these guys in, and to reflect their salaries.

Comments (28)

I could replace every one of them with better people and with a pay cap of 100k.

The Port of Portland will be very special.

I'm outraged, OUTRAGED! Except for the attorney salaries, of course ...:)

OK, so we are paying that much for running the Zoo, Expo Center, Conv Center and garbage - I forgot the sitting around and thinking about the future time.

QUite a deal.

Are we supposed to be outraged? To me these salaries look pretty comparable to similar size entities in the private sector.

I'm nearly certain the benefits packages are at least another 45% of salary.

That kind of compensation should be securing talented people and an impressive work product with
accountability and consequenses riding them daily.

These institutions have no such match of compensation to merit and accountability is only a notion that never triggers consequenses.
With heads such as Bragdon the status quo will be safe and secure.

So that's what happened to D. B. Cooper. I've often wondered.

Doesn't seem like a lot when compared to shop rates for getting my car repaired.

I'd love to be on a list like that. Where do I sign up?

The top dog is still at a lower hourly rate than was paid to Maria Lisa Johnson when she worked under her contract with Portland's ONI, to train young folks in the ways of diversity and leadership.

Dave c., Do you know or care about the median private sector wage? Could you console a neighbor who had sought medical authorization to return to work, while injured, and then aggravated the injury to include disabling back strain etc.? Physically demanding work for X number of years should be a prerequisite on any pencil pusher's resume. Call it character building or development of "empathy." Would you even be willing to pay me 80 bucks to do 4-5 hours of work in your own yard? You can take me up on the offer, or is the offer price outrageous?

Outrageous. I am not seeing the performance to back up these inflated salaries. How many got those spots only by virtue of being a well-connected insider or as a reward for being silent on other matters....

Ben--- Well said.

Love or hate Jack Bogdanski,
he really knows how to find the stuff!
Good work Jack!

If someone wants to make an upper-level private sector income, they should apply for a job in the private sector. One of the major attractions - on a larger scale than in the private sector - of public jobs are in the benefits.

Publicly-funded city, county, state and federal agencies should not be trying to compete with the private sector. If they need high-octane expertise, that's what contracted work is for and it's better that way since it has to be proposed and justified first.

Oh, and no offense, but is that guy competing with Donald Trump for most unfortunate hair styling? He has no excuse . . . with his supersized salary he can afford either a good barber or hair club for men.

Jack, can you post the entire list in Excel format?

what, exactly, is "no offense" supposed to mean?

Are we supposed to be outraged?

You're not "supposed to be" anything. The information is now in your hands to make of what you wish.

Jack, can you post the entire list in Excel format?

I did. Click on the last link. The file is in .xlsx format, which is how I got it from Metro.


When I try to download the sheet it downloads as a "" I can then rename it to .xlsx and it opens. So it appears that something on the server is changing the extension as the link is clearly setup as a .xlsx.

Firefox handles the file correctly. I don't know what IE is doing -- besides screwing up, as usual. It's not a zip file.

Metro is a redundant and useless 3rd layer of local government. We have cities & counties, what the *$&# do we need Metro for?? Give the zoo & the other crap back to the County, along with the tax revenue, then flush Metro down the crapper. How about a ballot measure to dissolve Metro - I'm all for it.

Jack -

Someone needs to explain why NUMEROUS names appear on there twice with different positions and salaries. If you add those multiple salary figures together, some of those poor folks are making much more that just a single line items would indicate. From the list, it appears that some hold multiple positions at Metro. Nice.

I would support a ballot measure to cut this waste IMMEDIATELY.

It might be pointed out that Wollson's last job was as head of the State Film Office; a job that heads a 5-6 person staff.

"Love or hate Jack Bogdanski,
he really knows how to find the stuff!"

I wish he could find the PDC check book register. The real one.

But then he would need to go into the witness protection program.

Please print the wages of all retiree that are hired back, and double dipping.

Another benefit, luxury, these many burueacrats enjoy is permananent job security and total insulation from the economy.
And while setting compensation package levels there's no value attributed to this benefit.
Instead we get the ridiculous claim that the compensation is similar to the private sector.

An enlightening experiment would be random visits to offices and work stations to be shown what was produced on that given day by that employee.

Many visits would reveal very little accomplished while the theater of a busy day is performed.

And the default excuse is, "Hey, I didn't create this job or system and it's not my job to make it all work".
With a little "I deserve this job" mixed in.

Please print the wages of all Port of Portland retiree that are hired back, and double dipping.

Mike, another tally that should be made in the double dipping realm is the number of past PDC employees and their consulting amounts after they leave PDC. Even limit it to just past employees that were making $60,000 and above at PDC. We would all be flabbergasted. I can quickly name over 10 people I know that have done this kind of double dipping.

Then there is the swinging door syndrome. I know of several PDC committees that have had five to ten staff assigned to the committee. In just over 5 years not one of the original staff members are still with the committees. If you research a little, you'll find them working for another government agency with similar job descriptions and much higher pay.

In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2013
Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
Domaines Bunan, Bandol Rose 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
Beaulieu, Rutherford Cabernet 2013
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
Oberon, Napa Cabernet 2013
Apaltagua, Envero Carmenere Gran Reserva 2013
Chateau des Arnauds, Cuvee des Capucins 2012
Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012

The Occasional Book

Marc Maron - Waiting for the Punch
Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 8
At this date last year: 0
Total run in 2018: 10
In 2017: 113
In 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

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