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Civic Skinny

Who Makes What:


The conductor of the Des Moines Symphony makes about $30,000 more a year than the Des Moines police chief. The president of Des Moines University makes about $75,000 less than the school’s dean.

The head golf pro at Des Moines Golf and Country Club makes about $60,000 more than the Polk County Treasurer. The head of the Civic Center makes $100,000 more than the Des Moines city manager. Salaries and benefits at the Chrysalis Foundation exceed the amount of money the organization gives out in grants.

The president of Drake University makes more than all five Polk County supervisors combined. The president of Hospice of Central Iowa makes $70,000 more than the Governor ($135,000) and Lieutenant Governor ($107,000) combined. And the artistic director of the Des Moines Metro Opera makes less than a tenth of the pay of several doctors at Mercy Hospital.

Those are some random gleanings from a week spent going through tax returns for non-profit organizations based in Des Moines and looking over the newly set salaries for city and county employees for the fiscal year that started this month. Some salaries — like those for Jay Byers and Gene Meyer, the two new top executives of the Greater Des Moines Partnership — aren’t yet public because the tax forms are not yet posted.

If the salaries show anything, it’s that it’s lucrative to be in the business of taking care of the sick and the aging, but not necessarily of the poor and the needy. Brian Farrell, the president of the Bishop Drumm home, made $227,712 in the year ended June 30, 2011, the latest publicly available figure. Norene Mostkoff, the president of Hospice of Central Iowa, made $314,152 in the year ended June 30, 2012. Kevin Anderson, the president of Wesley Homes, made $239,555 in the year ended Dec. 31, 2011.

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And Bradley Bagan, Chris Karas and Mirza Baig — all doctors whose salaries are public because they are directors of Mercy Professional Practice Associates — each made more than $850,000 in the year ended June 30, 2011.

But Ako Abdul-Samad, the legislator who runs Creative Visions, the organization that helps stabilize family units, made $67,500 in the latest year. Virginia Klem, the only person whose salary is listed by the St. Vincent de Paul Society, earned $51,886. And Lance Henning earned $87,500 running Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity in the year ended June 30, 2012. All those are less than one month’s salary for Dave Vellinga, who made $1,109,081 guiding the Mercy medical operations in Des Moines in the year ended June 30, 2011.

Here are some other salaries, picked for no particular reason:

Rick Clark, the city manager of Des Moines, will make $208,710 in the year that started the first of this month. His police chief, Judy Bradshaw, will make $157,435. And his former chief — now-Sheriff Bill McCarthy — will make $145,132.

Kent Henning, the president of Grand View University, made $373,146 in the latest year while Drake’s David Maxwell earned $561,474. Des Moines University President Angela Franklin earned $359,114, but the dean of DMU, Kendall Reed, made $446,556 in the year ended June 30, 2012, and a faculty member, Clavenna George, made $403,780.

James D. Cutter, the general manager of Des Moines Golf and Country Club, made $203,184 in the year ended Oct. 31, 2011, and Rick Tegtmeier, the head of groundskeeping, made $139,321. Scott Howe, the head golf pro, made $161,478 — about the same as Jeff Lester, the chief lawyer for the city of Des Moines. At Wakonda, David Schneider, the general manager, made $163,926 in the year ended last Oct. 31, while John Temme, the head of grounds, made $121,744. Temme’s salary was about the same as those of Stephen Waymire and Dana Wingert, majors on the Des Moines police force.

Chris Coleman, the city councilman and head of the Better Business Bureau, made $179,200 in the latest year, while Dwight Dinkla, who runs the Iowa State Bar Association, made $156,011. (The association also paid $147,105 to Carney and Appleby for “lobby/legislative services” in the year ended June 30, 2012, according to the tax return.)

Joseph Giunta, the conductor of the Des Moines Symphony, made $184,308 in the year ended June 30, 2012, while Richard Early, the executive director, made $113,771. The symphony also has a foundation, and last year it paid Isaacson Consulting $169,562 as a fundraising consultant. Isaacson Consulting is Connie Isaacson.

Michael Egel, the artistic director of the Des Moines Metro Opera, made $85,305 in the year ended last Aug. 31. Jeff Chelesvig, who runs what is now called Des Moines Performing Arts — but which you still call the Civic Center — made $308,512 in the year ended June 30, 2012. Todd Fogdall, the director of development, and Barbara Preuss, the director of marketing, each made around $125,000. John Viars, who runs the Des Moines Community Playhouse, earned $108,286 in the latest year.

Vernon Delpesce, who runs the YMCAs in the area, made $226,392 in the year ended last Aug. 30, while Marlyn McKeen, the head of Goodwill Industries of Central Iowa, made $202,709.

The figures for the Chrysalis Foundation stand out. The foundation, which supports “projects and services that preserve, develop and expand women’s choices,” paid Terry Hernandez $108,459 in the latest year, more than an eighth of its total revenue of $805,897. In fact, total salaries and expenses of $276,267 exceeded the $227,217 paid in grants. And the group spent $105,552 on fundraising costs.

The figures at the Mid-Iowa Health Foundation also jumped out. Suzanne Mineck, the president, earned $96,651 in the year ended Dec. 31, 2011, chewing up nearly a seventh of the organization’s total income of $716,002. Denise Swartz, a program officer, earned $77,000. Operating and administrative expenses totaled $393,983, almost as much as the $444,695 given out in grants. The foundation also is unusual for a nonprofit organization in that it pays a few thousand dollars a year to its directors, who include Libby Jacobs and Teree Caldwell-Johnson. …

The next generation: Rob Barron, an Iowa operative for Sen. Tom Harkin, is likely to run for the Des Moines school board this fall. Chris Diebel, once of Orchestrate Management and now of LPCA Public Strategies, is likely to announce soon that he will run for the City Council seat now held by Skip Moore. Barron and Diebel are in their early 30s. …

Only in Iowa: The guy who stole that Chevy Suburban and led a chunk of the police force on a slow-speed chase through the east side regularly used his turn signals during the chase. CV


Top 10 city employee salaries

Name                                Job Title                  Annual Rate

Clark, Richard A.                 City Manager                        $208,710

Lester, Jeffrey D.                 Corporation Counsel             $162,842

Bradshaw, Judith Ann          Police Chief                         $157,435

McDowell, Lawrence R.        Deputy City Attorney            $151,694

Hulse, Larry D.                   Assistant City Manager          $150,010

Godwin, Mark                     Deputy City Attorney I          $146,973

Vanderpool, Kathleen Ann    Deputy City Attorney I          $144,914

Kozitza, Patrick                    Dep. Public Works Director   $142,875

Brewer, Jeb E.                     City Engineer                      $141,742

Newman, John R.                Information Technology Dir.   $140,108

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