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Teresa Sutherland, Jodee Dickinson Annapolis’ highest paid employees, Mayor Gavin Buckley 87th highest

Annapolis City Manager Teresa Sutherland is the highest-paid city employee, making $180,000.
Annapolis City Manager Teresa Sutherland is the highest-paid city employee, making $180,000.(Courtesty photo / BSMG)

Midway through Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley’s first term, the average annual pay for Annapolis city employees has increased by about 4.4% since 2017, with more people earning over $100,000 and the top ten earners all making at least $149,000, city salary data shows.

An analysis of 2019 salary data provided by the city shows that 550 salaried employees are paid an average of $75,368 per year in 2019, up from $72,172, in 2017, according to salary data obtained by The Capital through a public records request. The total number of salaried city employees has also grown slightly, up from 535 two years ago.

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Nearly all city employees’ salaries are determined by a pay scale approved by the City Council each year during the budget process, which contains steps that increase at a rate of 5.361%. Salaries for other positions such as mayor and City Council members are codified in city law.

Buckley, who confirmed Friday he intends to run for a second term in 2021, earns $98,000 a year, the 87th highest salary on city payroll. The eight members of the City Council are the lowest-paid salaried employees. They make $15,000 annually, plus an allowance of $1,500 for education and training purposes.

While Buckley’s salary has not changed since 2017, the data shows that the makeup of the top earners in his administration has changed somewhat from that of former Mayor Mike Pantelides.

Five of the top 20 earners in 2019 — including the top two highest-paid employees — are women. Outgoing Annapolis city manager Teresa Sutherland tops the list at $180,000 annually. Finance director Jodee Dickinson ranks second, earning $165,923 annually. MIT manager Barbara Smith ranks ninth with an annual salary of $154,347. Patricia Hopkins, human resources manager, earns $146,493, ranked 12th. And Marcia Patrick, public works assistant director, sits in a tie for 17th, earning $143,578.

Only two women — Patrick and fire battalion chief Kelly Martin — made the top 20 in 2017, Pantelides last year in office.

Overall, the top 10 earners in 2019 — all of whom are city administrators — make almost 10% more than the top 10 earners in 2017, but they are not exactly comparable because the job titles and duties don’t line up one-to-one.

More employees are earning over $100,000 as well, with 83 people earning six figures in 2019, up from 76 in 2017. The average salary of those making six figures increased from $115,659 annually in 2017 to $123,596 in 2019, an almost 7% increase.

Sutherland, who has served in her role since April, will depart her post on Feb. 1. Long-time Public Works Director David Jarrell will replace her. Jarrell has been public works director since 2010 — and briefly served as acting city manager in 2014.

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Jarrell, who currently earns $157,480, is in a four-way tie for fifth in yearly salary. He earns the same as new city attorney D. Michael Lyles, transportation director Rick Gordon, and Office of Emergency Management Director Kevin Simmons.

The public works head will make $180,000 annually in his new job, Sutherland said, the maximum allowed by city code.

The third and fourth-highest paid employees are police chief Ed Jackson, at $161,288 and fire chief Doug Remaley at $158,252. Jackson’s salary is the same as his predecessor Scott Baker who was fired by Mayor Gavin Buckley in March.

Six of the top 15 highest-paid city employees work in either the fire or police department. In addition to Jackson and Remaley, deputy police chief Paul Herman is 11th, earning $147,050 a year, and three police captains, Christopher Amoia, Mark Seidel and Timothy Lowe, tied for 13th, earning $144,124 annually.

The portion of the city’s annual budget that goes to salaries has increased gradually over the years. The city spent $36.6 million on pay in 2015, $38.6 million in 2017 and $41.4 million in 2019.

Some city employees, including the attorneys in the city’s law office, saw a big pay bump. Assistant city attorney Gary Elson — who has since retired — was earning a salary of $143,578 in 2019, up from $130,981 in 2017. Fellow assistant city attorney Ashley Leonard’s salary jumped from $100,881 in 2017 to $122,759 in 2019. And Kerry Berger — who served as acting city attorney for seven months — got a $40,000 raise from $78,638 to $119,923 thanks in part to a promotion from Lawyer II to assistant city attorney between 2017 and 2019.

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Lyles, the new city attorney confirmed by the City Council in December, earns $157,480, up from the $143,662 annually his predecessor Richard Melnick made in 2017.

The Buckley administration also filled positions in 2019, including economic development manager Stephen Rice and assistant city manager Lyn Farrow. Rice earns $108,384 and Farrow, $107,513. Rice replaced Hollis Minor who left in December 2018. Minor made $104,174 in 2017.

The top-earning city employees are:

  1. Teresa Sutherland, city manager, $180,000. Sutherland has served in her role since 2018. She will be leaving her post Feb. 1 and will be replaced by current Public Works Director David Jarrell. The city manager is the chief administrative officer of the city and oversees the day-to-day operation of the government.
  2. Jodee Dickinson, finance director, $165,923. Dickinson has been in her position since June 2018. She has served as both the auditor and assistant controller for Anne Arundel County.
  3. Edward Jackson, police chief, $161,288. Jackson was hired as the city’s top cop in July. He is a Baltimore native and served on the Baltimore police force.
  4. Douglas Remaley, fire chief, $158,252. Remaley was sworn in in August. He had served as deputy chief since 2007.
  5. D. Michael Lyles, city attorney, $157,480. Lyles was confirmed by the City Council in December. Lyles was previously a private attorney and adjunct professor of law. He replaced acting City Attorney Kerry Berger, who has served in the role since April.
  6. David Jarrell, public works director, $157,480. Jarrell will take over for Sutherland on Feb. 1. He has been with public works since 2010.
  7. James Gordon, transportation director, $157,480.
  8. Kevin Simmons, office of emergency management director, $157,480.
  9. Barbara Smith, MIT manager, $154,347.
  10. Archie Trader, rec and parks director, $149,467.

The city also employs about 200 hourly workers, who make between $10 and $65 per hour. Some of the lowest-earning hourly employees are part-time bus drivers who earn around $14.50 per hour. The city employs 26 full-time bus drivers, who earn between $33,265 and $64,804 annually.

The highest-paid hourly employee is Lisa Kubiscko, a forensic latent print examiner, who is paid $65 per hour.

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