City GovernmentEl Paso County Commissioners

City Wages 30% Higher Than Citizens, But They Still Need More of Your Money

Photo Credit: Adapted from American Government

We recently posted a blog about El Paso County having money to give employee pay raises, but not adequately funding roads. A reader who works within the El Paso County government has jokingly asked us to stop picking on them. The person asked us to start picking on the city of Colorado Springs instead. We’ll oblige and give them a break —for a little while, at least!

Ballots are hitting your mailboxes right now. Mayor John Suthers reports the city of Colorado Springs is doing very well financially. He has shown just how well the city is doing by approving raises and bonuses to city employees. Even though the city is financially sitting pretty, Suthers still presented his 2022 budget to the public that’s 16.26% ($56 Million) higher than 2021.

Let’s take a look at the biggest expense within city government: Wages.

How many Colorado Springs city employees make over $100,000 a year (not including benefits)? For the year 2020, 443 or 16.2% out of the 2,735 employees were paid over $100,000 a year.

Check out the link for top earners in the city of Colorado Springs from Openthebooks.com:

Here are the top 20 wage earners:

    • City Attorney/Chief Legal Officer – $206,560.00
    • Chief Of Staff/Chief Admin Officer – $205,992.00
    • Deputy City Attorney – $198,803.68
    • Police Chief – $194,000.00
    • Chief Information Officer – $186,000.00
    • Chief Financial Officer – $184,000.00
    • Chief Human Resource\Risk Officer – $184,000.00
    • Deputy Chief of Staff – $179,000.00
    • Aviation Director – $178,725.00
    • Fire Chief – $175,000.00
    • Public Works Director\City Engineer – $175,000.00
    • City Auditor – $174,354.00
    • Planning & Community Development Director – $174,000.00
    • Parks, Rec, Cultural Services Director – $172,000.00
    • Police Deputy Chief – $161,695.38
    • City Attorney Division Chief – $161,695.38
    • Police Deputy Chief – $159,039.84
    • City Attorney Division Chief – $158,509.60
    • City Attorney Division Chief – $158,509.60
    • Regional Emergency Management & Recovery Director – $157,000.00

Overall, the average annual salary for a city of Colorado Springs employee is $76,569. The average annual salary for citizens who works outside of Colorado Springs city government is $53,400.

Working for the city of Colorado Springs is quite profitable – $23,169 above what the average local person earns!

Public servants who work for the City of Colorado Springs make 30% more than the people they are supposed to be serving, and have a fabulous benefits package to boot. Does that seem upside down to anyone else?

Please fill out and return your ballot by November 2nd. The tax increases voted in today will be the unwanted gift that continues well into the future.

If you’ve reviewed your ballot, you have seen that voters are being asked to approve two ballot issues:

    1. to increase the sales tax rate to fund Trails and Open Spaces
    2. a TABOR retention issue asking to retain the tax money you overpaid and use it for fire mitigation for properties within the Wildland Urban Interface areas

Sales tax collections are at a record high, thanks to the city capturing online sales taxes on your purchases from retailers such as Amazon. If the city wants to prioritize more money for trails and open spaces, politicians can prioritize that money from the increased general fund today.

The city wants to keep up to $20,000,000 of your money to create a new wildfire mitigation and prevention program. Private property owners should maintain their own properties, versus the burden falling on the taxpayers. And if the city is concerned about city property in the wildfire areas, again, politicians can prioritize that money from the increased general fund today.

We urge Colorado Springs residents to vote “NO” on both city ballot issues, 2C (TOPS Extension) and 2D (Tabor Retention).

One thought on “City Wages 30% Higher Than Citizens, But They Still Need More of Your Money

  1. Excellent information, Rebecca! Very important for us to remember that the more money we give the government, the more money the more money they’ll spend. When I worked as a cashier at King Soopers, we’d have a surge of food trays in May towards the end of the school district’s fiscal year. The motivation: if you didn’t spend everything in the budget, your budget might get cut the next year.
    So, if we want to have thrifty government, we’re going to have to stop allowing them to take so much of our money.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.