Despite the fact that City Administrator Mark Grams is the highest paid city employee in Port Washington, numbers released by the city show other individuals earning benefits packages that cost much more.
Grams, administrator of the city for nearly 27 years, in 2011 earned a salary of $100,619 with a benefits package worth $36,748 — or 37 percent of his salary. Police Chief Kevin Hingiss, who had been an officer with the Port Police Department for 27 years, but chief for just more than one year, earns a salary of $81,096 but a benefits package worth $48,043 — which is 59 percent of his salary.
Grams said this difference in benefits cost is related to higher retirement benefits that the police department continues to receive but other municipal employees don't since the passage of Act 10, which called for pension and health insurance contributions from state employees, with an exemption for police and fire department personnel.
The other three top paid employees in Port include:
- Street Commissioner Dave Ewig — $84,838, with $34,691 in benefits;
- Police Capt. Michael Keller — $84,520, with $46,931 in benefits;
- City Engineer Rob Vanden Noven — $84,623, with $23,119 in benefits.
Port Washington officials had originally provided inaccurate payroll numbers for 2011 as part of a Gannett Wisconsin Media study, which showed Grams as having the highest costing benefits package in the state — nearly twice what it actually costs.
"It was partially our fault for sending (Gannett) information that wasn’t accurate," Grams said, adding that had he checked the information before his secretary sent it he "would have spotted it right away that it was not accurate."