Mayor Sandy Stimpson vowed his administration’s total salary cost would be less than Sam Jones’ staff salaries and with the top people in place, it appears he is on track with keeping his promise.
During a Nov. 15 meeting with local media, Stimpson said to compare positions between the Jones and Stimpson administrations would be like comparing apples and oranges. However, the total salary cost for the Stimpson staff would be less than the previous administration.
Some key position salaries show Stimpson is on his way to cutting costs while other salaries are increases from the previous administration.
Mobile Police Chief Jim Barber and Fire-Rescue Chief Paul “Randy” Smith, who still needs to be approved by the City Council, will both make $120,000. Smith is at his current salary until the council votes on his appointment. Jones’ Chief of Police Micheal Williams and Fire Chief Stephen Dean each made $135,418.
The reduction in pay for the chiefs will result in a $30,836 savings for the city.
Stimpson explained during the Nov. 15 meeting that the pay is structured in the law enforcement organization.
Stimpson’s executive assistant, Sherry Lee, is making $55,000 per year. This is $8,003 less than what Jones paid his executive assistant, Donna Mitchell. She made $63,003.
On Nov. 12 the City Council approved Paul Wesch to be the city’s finance director after longtime director Barbara Malkove retired. Wesch is making slightly less than Malkove did at $110,000. Malkove made $113,942 before her retirement.
In one role, Stimpson’s staff person is making more than Jones’ person in the same position. Chief of Staff Colby Cooper is making $110,000 annually. Jones’ Chief of Staff, Al Stokes, made $102,211.
Although Ricardo Woods has been tapped as the city attorney by Stimpson, his pay has not been disclosed. Larry Wettermark, who was city attorney under Jones, made $92,602 annually. He also was allowed to appoint other attorneys to handle city business. Wettermark also regularly gave the work to his firm, Galloway, Wettermark, Everest, Rutens and Galliard, LLP.
During the Nov. 12 meeting, Stimpson confirmed Executive Director of Cultural & Civic Development Bobby Bostwick is retiring at the end of the year from the city.
One of Bostwick’s responsibilities with the city is to organize BayFest. Once he retires, BayFest, a non-profit, will hire Bostwick to run the music festival.
“I think the city does not need to be in control of (BayFest),” Stimpson said. “We will have a liaison for the city to talk to Events Mobile and BayFest, but I do not want to tell them how to do their events.”
While the mayor did not say how much the liaison would make, Bostwick made $91,832.
Jones’s executive director of administration services, Barbara Drummond, also helped with planning events like the MoonPie Over Mobile. She was not offered a job within the Stimpson administration and to date, the mayor has not filled her exact position. Drummond made $89,253 when she was employed by the city.
Director of Communications and External Affairs George Talbot is making $95,000 under the Stimpson administration. His role is similar to Drummond’s and Adam Buck, who served as public relations coordinator under Jones. Buck, who left the city to work in Pensacola, made $41,175 while at the city.
Shayla Beaco was appointed by Stimpson to be the director of operations and community affairs and will make $80,000.
Stimpson said he would provide the total numbers when his staff is completed.
Just two weeks before Stimpson won the Aug. 27 municipal election on Aug. 13, he pledged to take half his salary.
“I got into this race not because I wanted a job, but because I wanted to move Mobile from being the city of perpetual potential to fulfilling our destiny of being a great city. I’ve known from the beginning it’s the mayor’s responsibility to lead by example,” he said in a press release. “That’s why, as mayor, I will contribute $200,000 from the mayoral salary over the course of four years to a bonus pool for employees submitting cost saving or revenue enhancing ideas implemented by the city.”
The mayor’s salary is $89,000 annually, which means the mayor would make $356,000 during a term. That means Stimpson would cut the mayor’s salary to just $39,000 per year.