News Bite

Farmington Hills Fire Lieutenant’s $193k Annual Pay More Than Chief’s Or Manager’s

The Farmington Hills employee with the highest pay is not the city manager.

He’s a lieutenant in the fire department, having collected $193,507 in 2021 and $165,540 in 2020. The lieutenant made more than his boss, Fire Chief Jon Unruh, whose gross pay was $135,685 in 2021.

Farmington Hills City Manager Gary Mekjian collected gross pay of $169,921 in 2021. He became the manager in March 2021, so that amount does not represent a full-year pay rate.

It is very common for public safety employees to be among the highest-paid municipal employees, due to overtime payments required under union contracts. Police and fire department unions are considered to be among the most powerful public employee unions in the state. They got themselves exempted from Michigan’s right-to-work law.

Gross pay for all Farmington Hills employees increased from $34.40 million in 2020 to $35.97 million in 2021.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.