• Detroit City Council members balk at pay for leaders of turnaround effort

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    Gov. Rick Snyder’s staff working on Detroit’s financial turnaround plan wanted to pay as much as $280,000 a year to attract an exceptional chief financial officer and $250,000 for an experienced program management director — two key positions that will help oversee the city’s restructuring.

    But Detroit City Council members said Tuesday that the amounts are way too high, and they asked the Snyder administration to cut the salaries that cash-poor Detroit would pay under terms of the consent agreement the city reached April 4 to avoid state appointment of an emergency manager.

    Under the consent deal, the city’s deadline to create the two positions was Tuesday. The council approved the positions with the $220,000 salary cap, but the pay could be changed if Snyder officials say it’s necessary.

    Jenkins and other council members asked Bing’s chief operating officer, Chris Brown, to send the proposal back to the state with a request to cap the yearly salaries at $220,000. Snyder’s staff proposed pay of $190,000-$280,000 for the CFO and $160,000-$250,000 for the program manager. Both positions, which would get tens of thousands more in health care and other benefits, would report to the mayor.

    Snyder spokeswoman Geralyn Lasher said she doesn’t foresee the disagreement over pay becoming a major sticking point for the consent deal: “We are mindful of the dollars, but we want to be able to attract the best candidates,” she said.

    Brown and other Bing staff argued higher pay will help lure candidates with special experience in finance and turning around troubled agencies.

    The Detroit City Council questioned on Tuesday the proposed pay for the new positions of chief financial officer and program management director. Here are base salaries for various elected and appointed officials in Detroit and Lansing; the figures do not include the costs of health care and retiree benefits:

    Local and state officials

    • Detroit Public Schools emergency manager Roy Roberts, $250,000

    • State Treasurer Andy Dillon, $174,204

    • Gov. Rick Snyder, $159,300

    • Mayor Dave Bing, $158,558

    • Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, $111,510

    • City Council President Charles Pugh, $76,911

    • City Council members, $73,181

    Pay scale for CFOs

    What the Bing administration said it found in researching CFO salaries:

    • Pay range for CFO of Dallas, population 1.2 million: $110,000-$189,000

    • Pay for CFO of Philadelphia, population 1.5 million: $175,776

    • Pay range for CFO of Wayne County, population 1.8 million: $107,291-$163,883

    • National median base pay for chief financial officers, private and public sector, according to the Bing administration’s research: $331,000

    Check out more of Matt Helms’s report in the Detroit Free Press

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