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.
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.