On Tuesday, the Austin American-Statesman published an interesting new look at the “highest paid city of Austin officials as of June 26.” This latest wage data reveals a handful of extremely well-paid city employees whose annual earnings often approach or exceed the President of the United States’ salary.

According to the Statesman’s statistics, which were obtained through the Public Information Act, the city’s highest paid public official is Austin Energy’s Bob Kahn, whose annual salary is greater than $475,000. The next highest paid is Austin’s new city manager T.C. Broadnax ($470,017) followed by Austin-Bergstrom airport CEO Ghizlane Badawi ($425,006). These amounts exclude “any additional compensation a city employee may be receiving as part of their employment contract with the city in the ranking.

In all, the Statesman identified the city’s top 14 highest paid officials, who are expected to cost area taxpayers at least $4.9 million this year. Curiously, some positions were held by multiple employees, each of whom earned the exact same salary as their peers, i.e. deputy general manager and assistant city manager.

The release of this new detail raises some interesting questions, like: Is it appropriate for local officials to earn such excessive salaries, especially given Austin’s persistent affordability crisis? And are the salaries listed below set to increase in the coming fiscal year or will city hall call time-out in order to deal with its looming “budget deficit?” And might it be time for the Texas Legislature to impose a local spending limit in order to force political subdivisions, like Austin, to rein in their many excesses?

Only time will tell.

Rank Name Position Entity Base Salary
1 Bob Kahn General Manager Austin Energy $475,009.60
2 T.C. Broadnax City Manager City of Austin $470,017.60
3 Ghizlane Badawi Chief Executive Officer Austin-Bergstrom International Airport $425,006.40
4 Shane Harbinson Chief Development Officer Austin-Bergstrom International Airport $376,001.60
5 Jon Fortune Deputy City Manager City of Austin $325,000.00
6 Stuart Reilly Deputy General Manager Austin Energy $322,400.00
7 Kerry Overton Deputy General Manager & Chief Customer Officer Austin Energy $317,220.80
7 Lisa Martin Deputy General Manager & Chief Operating Officer Austin Energy $317,220.80
7 Tammy Cooper Deputy General Manager of Regulatory, Communications, Compliance and Legal Services Austin Energy $317,220.80
8 Mark Escott Chief Medical Officer City of Austin $315,078.40
9 Robert Goode Assistant City Manager City of Austin $298,500.80
9 Veronica Briseno Assistant City Manager City of Austin $298,500.80
9 Stephanie Hayden-Howard Assistant City Manager City of Austin $298,500.80
10 Bruce Mills Interim Assistant City Manager City of Austin $298,493.52
  TOTAL     $4,854,171.92

Source: Austin American-Statesman