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Mitchell's three highest-paid city workers to earn $88,839

City government's three top earners are getting a 2.35 percent raise.

Mitchell Finance Officer Marilyn Wilson, Public Safety Chief Lyndon Overweg and Public Works Director Tim McGannon each will make $88,839 in 2013.

That's the top salary among the city's 25 salaried employees. The Mitchell City Council approved 2013 salaries at its meeting Dec. 17, at the same time it agreed to contracts with the three unions that represent about 150 city employees.

Wilson, Overweg and McGannon were paid $86,800 in 2012. Almost all department heads and other exempt employees will receive pay increases in the new year.

Union workers received a 1.75 percent cost-of-living pay hike, along with an additional 25 cents per hour boost. Many qualified for a step increase, since employees are on a six-step pay program.

City department and division heads also got the 1.75 percent pay increase, as well as the extra 25 cents per hour, according to Mayor Ken Tracy. They also received another 2.4 percent raise if they are not at the top of their salary range.

"It's for those not topped out," Tracy said. "It's the equivalent of a step for other employees."

Wilson, Overweg and McGannon are all topped out, and did not receive the added 2.4 percent pay increase.

Dusty Rodiek, the director of the Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry, will be paid $74,382. He is not topped out by the city's salary range, which is set by the mayor and council. Rodiek was paid $70,891 in 2012, which means his new salary equates to a 4.92 percent raise.

Kevin Thurman, director of the Golf and Cemetery Department, will be paid $70,160. Thurman is also topped out. He was paid $68,442 in 2012, which means his new pay is 2.51 percent higher.

Corn Palace Director Mark Schilling will be paid $62,267, up 5.07 percent from $59,263 in 2012. Billie Kelly, the human resources director, will make $66,012, up 6.7 percent from $61,866, a figure set by former Mayor Lou Sebert when she was named to the post in October 2011. She received only a cost of living increase for 2012. Neither are topped out for their range.

The newest department head, Jessica Pickett, director of senior services, will be paid $60,000. She is also not topped out. Pickett was hired at that salary earlier this year.

City Attorney Carl Koch, who is considered a department head, will be paid $55,000. He is the only salaried employee who does not receive city benefits.

Koch, who was named to the position in July, was paid the equivalent of $51,650 a year, so he received $21,153.

Four men with secondary roles in city departments -- Assistant Police Chief Leon Baier ; Assistant Fire Chief Paul Morris; Street, Sanitation and Landfill Superintendent Ron Olson; and Public Works Deputy Director Terry Johnson -- will all be paid $66,811. All are at the top of their wage scale.

Police Detective Lt. Don Everson, Communications Director Marlene Haines and Water Superintendent Richard Pollreisz all will be paid $61,774. Everson and Haines are topped out.

Wastewater Superintendent/Pretreatment Coordinator Jon Vermuelen will be paid $59,794, and Library Director Jackie Hess, City Planner Neil Putnam and Recreation Center Director Rob Marchand will make $56,368. Hess, Putnam and Marchand are topped out.

Recreation Coordinator Kevin DeVries will make $51,533, while Transit Operations Supervisor JoLynn Hanson will be paid $51,528.

IT Specialist Dustin Vanderham will be paid $50,806, while Deputy Finance Officer Cindy Roth will be paid $48,823.

Field Operations Supervisor Chuck Jones and Park Supervisor Steve Roth will be paid $47,187.

Other cities pay their top three employees based on duties, seniority and assignments. Brookings and Watertown have city-owned utilities, and pay the heads of those departments more than most employees. Brookings, which owns the city hospital, as well as a retirement center and an assisted living facility, also pays a relatively high salary for the person charged with running those three enterprises.

In Watertown, the three highest paid city employees are General Manager of Municipal Utilities Steve Lehner at $146,260 for 2013; City Attorney Stanton Fox, at $95,680, and City Engineer Tom Drake, at $89,440.

Brookings City Manager Jeffrey Weldon said he is one of the three highest-paid city employees along with Jason Merkley, the administrator of the Brookings Health System, and Steve Meyer, executive vice president/general manager of Brookings Municipal Utilities.

Weldon will make $134,172 in 2013. Meyer will be paid $182,365.32. Merkley would not release his salary despite repeated efforts to obtain it. Weldon said since the health system is governed by a separate board, he had no access to the figure.

Huron City Engineer Mike Wever is the city's highest-paid employee, and made $86,549.06 in 2012. Finance Director Paullyn Carey was paid $85,696, while Police Chief Gary Will was paid $70,178.94.

The Huron City Commission will meet Monday to set 2013 salaries. A proposed 2.5-percent cost-of-living increase is on the table.

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