Public Employees Who Make at Least $100,000 in Base Pay

Local government budget cuts that were caused by the last recession mean that many taxpayer-supported agencies have fewer public employees making at least $100,000 in base pay annually, but one agency represents a glaring exception.

The Southern Nevada Water Authority had 426 employees with six-digit base pay in 2012, 41.5 percent or 125 more than the 301 in 2009, according to data supplied by the agency.

Three other agencies -- Henderson, UNLV and the Southern Nevada Health District-- also had more $100,000-plus workers in 2012 than in 2009 but only by increases of two, four and five respectively.

In 2009, the water authority had fewer employees at the $100,000 base threshold than UNLV, Metro Police, Clark County, the Clark County School District and Henderson. In 2012, the water authority trailed only UNLV. This occurred despite the fact that the water authority, like most other local agencies, shed jobs since 2009 in response to the recession.

In addition to general manager Pat Mulroy, whose base pay in 2012 was $298,533.88, the water authority's six-digit base pay recipients included: 73 analysts (compared to 37 in 2009), 70 engineers (56 in 2009), 61 managers (65 in 2009), 47 supervisors (34 in 2009), 38 computer-related developers (27 in 2009), 15 administrators (8 in 2009), 14 directors (same as in 2009) and 13 coordinators (8 in 2009).

Barring another financial downturn, those numbers are certain to grow in the coming years because 153 additional employees had base pay of at least $90,000 in 2012.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is fiscally challenged North Las Vegas, where the number of employees making at least $100,000 in base pay dropped 73.7 percent from 156 in 2009 to 41 last year.

Close behind is Metro Police, which experienced a 65.3 percent decline in that category from 472 employees to 164, and the school district, which dropped from 346 to 147. In Metro's case, though, the decline is misleading because the agency had 205 police and corrections sergeants who just missed the threshold with more than $99,000 in base pay and 96 other employees who drew in excess of $90,000. The school district had 21 employees whose base pay exceeded $99,000 and 344 others in the $90,000 range.

When it came to total pay, which includes overtime, call back pay, separation pay for employees who leave an agency and other reimbursement on top of base pay, Clark County led all local agencies in 2012 with 1,022 employees cracking the $100,000 threshold.

But the only agencies with more $100,000-plus employees in the total pay category in 2012 than in 2009 were the water authority (increasing from 352 to 497), Henderson (546 to 585), Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (21 to 28) and health district (22 to 38).


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