2010 US Census; City of GY Employees Earn More Than Most GY Taxpayers and There is One City Employee for Every 50 Employed GY Taxpayers

Here is a chart based upon the city of Goodyear Budget Book and 2010 US Census data for the city of Goodyear that shows the distribution of city of Goodyear employees’ average income and benefits vs the income of employed Goodyear taxpayers.

Here is the same chart in pdf format in case you want to see it better.  Relative Income Chart0001

According to the city of Goodyear budget book (pg 51) and the 2010 US Census, city of Goodyear employees are among the highest paid residents in Goodyear, ($85,283 average salary and benefits) earning over 13% more than the average employed Goodyear taxpayer household, 20% more than over half of Goodyear taxpayer households, and more than nearly 65% of all Goodyear households ($75,362 on average income). (The comparison is between individual city of Goodyear employees and Goodyear taxpayer households).

Not only are they highly paid, there are also so many city of Goodyear employees (514 in 2010-11) that there are enough to provide one week of individual service to each of Goodyear’s 28,000 employed residents each year. Is that what Fischbach means when he keeps saying, “without reducing services”?  When is your GY employee going to show up for a week to help you out? Should it require the equivalent of nearly 5% of the employed taxpayer base to provide city services?

Lots of City Employees; One for Every 50 Employed Residents

Page 303 of the 2011 Budget Book shows that there were 514 budgeted city employees. Table DP03 from the 2010 US Census gives selected economic data about the city of Goodyear’s residents 2010 Economic Characteristics .

Table DP03 tells us that there are 49,000 residents over age 16 living in GY and 28,000 of them are employed. So there is one Goodyear employee for about every 50 employed people in Goodyear.  One in 50.  Since there are 52 weeks in the year and one city employee per 50 employed residents, each employed Goodyear taxpayer (who primarily earn the income to pay the taxes which pay city employees’ salaries) should be able to receive one full week’s services of one city employee. One week per year. They could help you build a tree fort for your kids, do all your grocery shopping for you, or sweep out the garage.

Highly Paid City Employees.

But that would be high paid help since Goodyear’s tax payers are not nearly as fortunate as the city employees whose salaries they provide. Goodyear’s 2011 Budget Book estimate for personnel costs was about $44 million dollars. (page 51.  Here is a link to the book on GY’s web site if you want to check. 2010-11 Budget Book )

That means that ON AVERAGE the city of Goodyear pays it’s individual employees $85,283 per year in salary and benefits.  That’s the AVERAGE (or the MEAN).  So that includes lower paid employees like mechanics, janitors, secretaries, and clerks.  And as we hear so often in the newspaper from city staff, they have not had increases in a few years yet they are still comparatively highly paid.

According to 2010 US Census Table DP03, the MEAN GY household (not individual) income among Goodyear’s residents is only $75,362 per year or 13% lower than the average GY city employee. More than half of GY’s residents earn less than $71,000 per year or over 20% less than the AVERAGE city of GY employee. *

Table DP03 even gives the distribution of GY’s households’ (again, not individuals only the GY employee info is by individual) income. The chart above shows how GY taxpayers’ household income compare to that of  city of GY individual employee’s income and benefits.

Employed Goodyear taxpayers have to decide for themselves after evaluating this information just how reasonable they think this is based upon the total salary and benefits they get from their employers that may lift the total value of their compensation.**  But how many of you get guaranteed lifetime pensions after a fixed number of years of service like government employees do, or how much does your employer pay into your health care plan… if they even provide a health care plan?

Think about this the next time you hear Fischbach or city council complain that GY employees have not had salary increases in a few years or that they deserve bonuses so they don’t leave.  They’re not going to find many higher paying jobs in Goodyear.

* NOTE; City of GY employees who live in GY (with their 13% higher than average salaries) are skewing the 2010 US Census data UP so if one removed the resident city of GY employees’ income from the Census data, the city employee’s income advantage would be even greater.

** I emailed Larry Lange and Sheri Lauritano and asked them what % of the total GY personnel costs are benefits but they did not respond.


4 Responses

  1. I brought this up during the election cycle. Avondale at the time had less employees than Goodyear by a handful, around 15,000 more residents yet Goodyear pays its employees on average $10,000 more than Avondale pays theirs for the same level of service. As a business owner with businesses in several west valley cities I pay far more in fees to Goodyear than I do in Buckeye or Avondale for the exact same licenses. In one case, liquor license fees, I pay 50% more to Goodyear than I do to the state. The state actually uses the fees to police the liquor industry, the city just taxes the licenses as a way to pay for all of its excessive spending. I guess having almost the highest combined restaurant tax rate in the state at 11.3% isn’t enough.

  2. Arizona Conservative state is a hypocrisy. They cry about wanting government to cut back yet government is the #1 employer in the state. All protecting themselves at the taxpayers expense. Always ready for a Federal government hand-out, grants, etc. while criticizing the President. Arizona is the perfect state for carpet-baggers to come to “take the money” without anyone noticing. The state is a vast desert with a small population. Most of the population is transient and uninvolved in the community (like Florida) where “in-season” the politicos show their best side and “off-season” the money-grubbing is taking place. It’s time for the peoples’ voices to be heard and to take back their money and power. Arizona “prison state” takes control of the people, takes the “vote” and power away from the people. It’s time for ALL to wake up. Those collecting obscene wages and pensions are NOT “public servants”!

  3. Howard, great analysis. There should be a comparison of Goodyear to other valley cities, Scottsdale (of course), Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Surprise, Avondale, Glendale, Peoria, Mobile, Wickenburg, open desert. Since Goodyear wants to be Phoenix, throw it in as well. Another great Howardsgoodyearblog.com report.

  4. Yes, this is a great analysis… if you could only teach 1/2 of the people in city hall how to create a graph in Excel, or an accurate calculation (as we know has been a problem) !! It was a sad day when I received a call from the mayors administrative assistant who needed assistance in “mail merge” and how to use the “wizard” without getting confused… and yes, she made a lot more than I did.

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