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Some Local Governments Reluctant to Release Employee Wages, Some Don't Keep Complete Records!

Some Local Governments Reluctant to Release Employee Wages, Some Don't Keep Complete Records! | Newtown News of Interest | Scoop.it

Ever wonder what government workers are paid?

 

We did, too.

 

The wages of government workers are the single, largest local taxpayer expense. Last year, nearly $500 million went to pay administrators and attorneys, police and public works, park rangers and prison guards in local boroughs and towns, county agencies and public utilities.

 

Yet, it’s not easy obtaining records that show who those public employees are, what they did, or exactly how much they received in total compensation. Some government salaries are posted in budgets approved at public meetings. But, often, the amounts listed in those publicly advertised budgets don’t match the actual amounts paid by taxpayers at the end of the year. Some workers receive educational incentives, longevity pay, overtime or payments in exchange for not excepting government health coverage, among other benefits.

 

Some towns said it was impossible to provide records showing what their employees earned last year. Some said they had no document showing job titles. Others released that information almost immediately.

 

In 71 minutes, Richland Township Manager Paul Stepanoff released a list showing the names, job titles and wages paid to 26 people.

 

Within one day, records were provided by officials in Doylestown Borough, Upper Makefield, Warwick, Wrightstown and the Central Bucks Regional Police Department.

 

It was another story in Yardley. Borough manager John Boyle said he couldn’t tell us exactly how much his workers got paid last year. Boyle said he didn’t have the staff necessary to comply with our request. Newtown Borough provided a copy of the borough budget, which listed the budgeted salaries for some workers. But, with the documents provided, there was no way to account for any overtime and other forms of compensation received by borough workers in 2017.

 

This news organization submitted a Jan. 3 Right-To-Know request to Yardley seeking “access to records which would show the names of any full or part-time employees, the job titles of workers and their wages.”

 

On Feb. 21, Boyle respond. His letter read: “This Borough does not maintain responsive records that contain all of the requested information. The Pennsylvania Right-To-Know Law does not require a local agency to create a record where none exists.”

 

Bucks County had some trouble with that request. A month after we filed our request, officials in Bucks County told us they did not have a list showing the job titles of all workers who received wages in 2017. Six days later, they provided a list. But the list of workers didn’t match the list of people who got government money. After three months, Bucks County was unable to provide job titles or job descriptions for approximately 300 people who received more than $13 million in taxpayer money last year.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Newtown is not mentioned in this article, but you can find all the information you need about Newtown's employee wages in the 2018 budget. Read "Newtown Township Employee Salaries & Wages"

johnmacknewtown's curator insight, June 8, 2018 10:35 AM

Newtown is not mentioned in this article, but you can find all the information you need about Newtown's employee wages in the 2018 budget. Read "Newtown Township Employee Salaries & Wages"

Newtown News of Interest
These Scoops are excerpts from articles published in local newspapers and other sources that may be of interest to Newtown area residents. Please click on the "From" link to access the full original article. Any opinions and "insights" appended to these article summaries are solely those of John Mack and do not represent the opinions of any other person or entity.
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