While the Occupy Wall Street protesters’ wrath has been focused on "the rich" from the private sector, there are plenty of public-sector employees in Michigan who are among the top wage earners in the country.

The Tax Foundation found that the top 5 percent of income earners in the U.S. in 2009 made at least $154,643.

Michigan Capitol Confidential took a look at some of Michigan’s government employees who are paid with tax dollars who fall in that top 5 percent. The salaries listed are the most recent available from public records or news reports. Those “rich” employees came from all areas of the public sector; from schools to universities to state economic agencies, from libraries to zoos. 

Mary Sue Coleman, University of Michigan president, made $585,783 in 2011. On top of her base salary of $585,738, Coleman also received a $100,000 retention bonus and $100,000 in deferred compensation.

Ann Arbor Public Schools Superintendent Patricia Green makes $245,000 a year.

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Michael Finney, who is the CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corp., makes $250,000

Richard Homberg made $288,528 in 2009 as Detroit Public TV’s president and general manager.

Ron Kagan, CEO of the Detroit Zoo, made $231,461 in 2009.

Michigan transit entities also have people in the top 5 percent. Peter Varga, CEO of Grand Rapids’ transit authority The Rapid, made $192,153 in 2010. Michael Ford, CEO of the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority, made $183,195 in 2010.

In 2009, Josie Parker made $154,675 as executive director of the Ann Arbor Public Library.


See also:

MichCapCon Coverage of Public Employee Compensation


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Jim Riley got his own fiscal house in order so he could retire. Now he wonders why his city government can’t do the same for their employees, and taxpayers who could end with huge bills from the unfunded retirement liabilities.

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