Levy, like Stradling, was charged with bringing the county's technological systems into a new age when he joined Ulman's administration four years ago.
"It was this transition from being a technical leader to someone who is helping from an information-processing and decision-making standpoint," Levy said. "We've become much more than just the technology person. It's the person who's looking at how the business runs and makes sure that it's happening in the most appropriate way. When I see the other IT directors in the region, they really tend to have that focus as well."
In smaller counties, including Charles and Wicomico, the pay ranges from $56,660 to $148,000.
A decade ago, the job could run anywhere from $33,600 in a county like Caroline, where the population was just under 32,000 people, to $120,460 in larger Montgomery.
Rico J. Singleton, chief information officer for Baltimore City, makes $160,000 annually. William F. Ryan, information technology officer for Anne Arundel County, makes $139,730.
Public safety pays
Seven of the top 10 Baltimore County salaries are occupied by police and fire employees, with State's Attorney Scott D. Shellenberger at the top of the list. The list does not include Baltimore County Public Schools employees.
For the most part, the county's top five wage-earners have remained fairly constant over the last few years: Shellenberger, other high-level public safety officials and County Administrative Officer Fred Homan, with earnings that range from about $170,000 to $214,000.
Shellenberger, whose salary is set by law, made about $214,000 last year. He was followed by Police Chief Jim Johnson ($204,400), technology director Robert Stradling ($198,000), Homan ($190,000), and two police colonels, William Kelly, Jr. and Michael McCleese ($180,000).
The top 10 also include Fire Chief John J. Hohman ($175,800), police Col. Mary Kim Ward ($172,600), Assistant Fire Chief Mark Weir ($165,700), and eight police majors ($163,300). Budget and finance director Keith Dorsey, former County Attorney John Beverungen and former economic development director David Iannucci round out the list ($161,840).
"In Baltimore County, we hire the best, from the front-line emergency responders right up to the top brass, and the results speak for themselves," said county spokeswoman Ellen Kobler. "The people in our communities enjoy historically low crime rates and truly top-notch emergency response services."
Public safety employees account for more than half of the county workforce and $383 million payroll.
At Shellenberger's request, the legislature lowered his salary to $194,276 starting in January and capped his annual pay raise at 1 percent instead of 5 percent.
County Executive Kevin Kamenetz got a bump in pay when he moved up from the council chambers. His salary increased to $150,000 annually from approximately $54,000 in part-time council pay the previous year. Council members earn $54,000 on average annually; the chairman earns about $60,000.