It’s no secret that public money pays government salaries, but many people might be surprised to learn the incomes of the highest paid employees in the city of Galveston and its subsidiaries — the Port of Galveston and the Park Board of Trustees.
That’s part of the reason why, several weeks ago, The Daily News set out to discover how much Galveston public workers were paid.
The decision came shortly after the city council in April voted to review assets managed by the Park Board of Trustees, which oversees the city’s tourism initiatives and the Wharves Board of Trustees, which governs the Port of Galveston.
Both entities operate independently from the city, but manage several city-owned properties.
The goal of the review is to ensure the city and its main satellite organizations are headed in the right direction and to determine whether similar duties are being filled by multiple positions, City Manager Brian Maxwell said.
The Daily News had several questions: What do payrolls look like for these three organizations — the city, the port and the park board? Who are the most compensated employees? What positions do they fill?
Salaries for each of the three entities look about the same at the top — Port Director Peter Simons makes $200,000 a year, while Maxwell brings in $205,000. Parks board Director Kelly de Schaun is slightly lower, at $179,483 a year.
But the disparities in salaries become more apparent when you move further down the rankings.
Port and parks board rosters look close to the same with their 15th highest paid employees earning in the $70,000s.
The city, meanwhile, has more high-paid staff at the top, with the director of Technology Services Robert Young ranked as the 15th-highest paid employee, earning $107,648 per year.
The difference is apparent in the combined salaries as well. The 15 highest paid employees in the city of Galveston also earn a combined $1.9 million in yearly salaries, while the top 15 in the park board earn a total of $1.46 million yearly. The top 15 employees at the port earn $1.5 million total.
Some park board officials who work in sales receive commissions, which are not accounted for in these numbers.