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.

Matt deGrood: 409-683-5230;

Samantha Ketterer: 409-683-5241; or on Twitter at @sam_kett

Top salaries in three public entities

Field 1 Field 2 Field 3
Name Position Salary
Brian Maxwell City Manager $205,867.00
Daniel Buckley Sr. Deputy City Manager $175,000.00
Donald Glywasky City Attorney $148,000.00
Michael Loftin Assistant City Manager of Finance $132,500.00
Richard Beverlin III Assistant City Manager of Grants & Public Transportation $132,500.00
Brandon Cook Assistant City Manager of Development & Municipal Service $127,000.00
Ross Blackketter Director of Capital Projects $126,266.50
Richard Boyle Police Chief $124,000.00
Michael Wisko Fire Chief $120,000.00
Glenn Bulgherini City Auditor $120,000.00
Daniel Christodoss City Engineer $113,220.00
Sterling Patrick Executive Director of Grants & Housing $111,426.84
Timothy Tietjens Executive Director of Development Services $109,176.00
Hope Dean Chief Information Technology Officer $109,176.00
Robert Young Director of Technology Services $107,648.40
Galveston Park Board of Trustees
Kelly de Schaun Executive Director $179,483.20
Michael Moser Controller $147,888.00
Margaret Winchester Director of Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau $118,518.40
Peter Davis Beach Patrol Chief $117,002.08
Dorithy Bossley Regional Sales Director - Austin $97,552.00
Melody Smith Director of Marketing $97,281.60
Reuben Trevino Director of Operations $96,886.40
Tony Pryor Beach Patrol Captain $82,617.60
Kimberly Danesi Human Resource Manager $79,996.80
Sheryl Rozier Project Manager $75,400.00
Leah Cast Director of Communications $75,150.40
Christopher Saddler Parks Superintendent $74,193.60
Jesse Ojeda Beach Cleaning Operations Manager $73,340.80
Kara Harrison Beach Patrol Lieutenant $71,240.00
Ciara Basile National Sales Manager $70,999.97
Port of Galveston
Peter Simons Interim Port Director $200,000.00
John Peterlin Director of Marketing and Administration $162,234.00
Mark Murchison Director of Finance $140,564.20
Roger Quiroga Director of Economic Development and External Affairs $102,885.00
Herbert L. Smith Director of Cruise Operations $97,100.00
Bob Pierce Chief of Police $96,203.50
Victor Hernandez Controller $96,536.00
Judy Esponge Secretary to the Board of Trustees and Senior Administrative Manager $96,119.78
Jeff Thomas Junior Engineer $80,474.15
Sandy Sabatier Senior Purchasing Agent/Contract Administration/Grant Manager $77,424.27
Brett Milutin Facility Security Officer/Harbormaster $77,100.00
William Dell Cruise Terminal Manager $74,691.31
Oscar Rodriguez Construction and Maintenance Services Manager $74,255.91
Monice Marshall Assistant Controller and Accounting Manager $73,500.00
Cristina Galego Public and Community Relations Manager $72,898.63


(14) comments

Susan Fennewald

I would think that the city has a lot more employees and deals with a much greater diversity of operations than either the port or the park board and should, therefore, have more upper level management covering these wide-ranging operations.

This might make an interesting quiz - what do the 15 highest paid employees of each entity do? I can try for some guesses for the city - city manager, city attorney, finance director, police chief, head of water and sewer, fire chief, asst city manager, information services (according to the article), head of planning.

At the very least, the article should have included the total budget of each group and the number of employees of each group to enable the reader to get a feel for situation.

Katherine Maxwell

Very disappointed in this article for several reasons, but the biggest is that they CONTRACT OUT THEIR LEGAL DEPARTMENTS. Add in what they spend on their outside attorneys and they surpass the city.

I agree with Susan that is should be a percentage of budget. I believe the city budget is three to four times their budgets.

You must also look at overall responsibilities. Theee of my "top 15" are licensed professional engineers that we must have. I also must have (by charter) a city auditor and city attorney.

Lastly, hard to believe my finance director, a professor of governmental finance and one of the top governmental financial guy's in the state make less than both finance directors at the other two entities.

Very disappointed in this article.

Brian Maxwell

Norman Pappous

I have to support Brian. While data is important, the lack of appropriate context will give birth to uninformed, or "less informed", opinion. Example: The City Auditor is (or at least "was" when I left office) a profit center as the Auditor's office captured previously uncollected taxes/fees in excess of the Auditor office's expenses. Those taxes/fees would have gone uncollected if not for the efforts of Glenn and his staff.

Susan Fennewald

I saw that the printed paper does have a list of the top 15 positions for each entity.

Raymond Lewis

Interesting but not surprising for a city the size of Galveston. Also omitted is the fact that both the park board and the wharve board generate income to pay salaries. We all pay taxes for salaries and services the city provides and that we require.

Ron Shelby

You need to compare apples to apples. Unlike the city, theport is a much more narrowly focused set of operations. A better comparison to the city is the county. They both directly compete for the same calibre of employees for jobs with the same diverse scope of responsibility.

Richard Moore

So it is just data - hopefully more will be forthcoming along with some serious analysis. Just based upon the names and surnames, I would encourage all the entities to focus future recruiting efforts upon this group better reflecting the ethic and gender diversity of the community they serve. Not advocating hiring based upon gender/ethnicity, just broadening the selection pools to include more qualified minorities and women for these positions.

Steve Fouga

This could have been an interesting article. Besides the context we all wish for, it could have included a table with the following info: job title, brief job description, number of employees, budgetary authority.

As it is, the article vaguely insinuates that perhaps our local government entities are out of balance in some way, and that maybe the officials don't quite deserve their pay.

In my opinion, the salaries listed seem reasonable, given the responsibilities. Top managers, whether in government or industry, make a comfortable living. Very few get rich.

lauraelder Staff
Laura Elder

We set out to complete a pretty simple task of listing the top 15 salaried positions in each one of these entities. Clearly you want more analysis and context, so we'll do that. Look for it soon. Thank you for the feedback.

Norman Pappous

Thanks Laura! Would also be nice to have any observations concerning where job duties at Park/Wharves could possible be combined at the city... HR, PR, or IT for example

Katherine Maxwell

Exactly Norm!

Donald Glywasky

Does this count bonuses?

Charlotte O'rourke

It is just numbers and top 15 salaries ... no spin ...

More detail is required for analysis.

It would help to have a salary percentage of gross operating revenues as well as total number of employees of each entity. In addition. how much of those operating revenues are self generated and how much is based on taxes?

Analysis should compare the positions and job numbers to other cities. For example city manager, port director, and parks director to their counterparts in other comparable sized cities.

A city manager should not be compared to a Parks Director or Port Director. Different jobs have different salary ranges and responsibilities.

Jarvis Buckley

I think if Maxwell was paid $300,000
he would still be under paid. Anyone
remember Steve Leblanc? What a joke.

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