Speak Out: State workers’ pay

Delaware Tech President Mark Brainard topped tens of thousands of state employees last year by being paid close to $267,000, the highest total among those employed by the First State.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average Delawarean made an annual salary of $53,320 as of May. Data from the Delaware Office of Management and Budget indicates 220 state employees nearly tripled that by pulling in $150,000 or more, up from 201 in 2017 and 178 in 2016.

• No wonder college tuition is outrageous! — Tom Spittel

• At a recent legislative hearing, the lawyer for DelTech made the case that the college should be looked at just like any other agency as they made their plea for additional capital dollars. I agree! However, this points out the problem with Mark Brainard’s salary being so high in comparison to Supreme Court leaders and other Cabinet secretaries leading agencies in Delaware.

When you compare his responsibilities to some of the agency heads the problem becomes even more apparent. For instance, Cabinet Secretary Dr. Kara Odom Walker at the Department of Health and Social Services Makes $163,088 a year. This is the state’s largest department of over 4,100 employees in 11 divisions, including the Delaware Psychiatric Center, two long term care facilities, and the Stockley Center for developmentally disabled persons, with a total budget exceeding $1.3 billion.

President Brainard makes $263,000 a year or 61% more than Secretary Walker. He oversees 1148 employees or 72% less than Secretary Walker. He administers budget of 81.5 million or 94% less than Secretary Walker. This seems clearly out of alignment.

The only difference is that Secretary Walker’s pay, along with judges and other top leaders in the executive branch, is established with the constraints of being a state government employee. The salary for the DelTech president is established by their private board who has no directive to treat this position within the same constraints.

The legislature needs to take control of this before this gets further out of control and we end up with another embarrassing situation like we had with the previous President George and his almost $300,000 a year retirement check.

Clearly something is wrong with this picture and needs attention! — Bill Bowden

• Left the state with 19 years’ service, working as a supervisor, then started a job entry level making more. Our favorite is when someone says “I’m paying your salary” or other comments. — Ray Yarnall Sr.

• Governor of Pennsylvania makes $187,000 a year, Governor of Colorado makes $90,000 a year. Governor of Delaware makes $171,000, 10th highest, incongruous to my way of thinking. Governor of Wyoming with a little over 1 million population makes $90,000. Delaware population about 975,000. — Frank Sims

• Mark Brainard makes over a quarter million dollars as head of DelTech. Thirty UD and six DSU make a quarter mil. Seven UD people make half a million dollars a year. You add those salaries into the total budget you’ll see how the average salary is so high with most making less than what half the average is. — George Roof

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