A Delaware County employee was the highest-paid municipal government worker in the Southern Tier during the state’s 2019 fiscal year, according to the latest edition of “What They Make,” the Empire Center’s annual report summarizing total local government pay.

Fern J. Thomas, a psychiatrist with the Delaware County mental health department, was paid $266,240 during the 12-month period ending March 31, the Empire Center analysis found.

Other data highlights for local government employees in the Southern Tier region, which includes Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Delaware, Otsego, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga and Tompkins counties:

  • The highest-paid police department in the region was in the City of Ithaca, where department employees collected an average of $90,019.
  • The top paying fire department in the Southern Tier was also in the City of Ithaca, where employees collected an average of $85,569.
  • The highest pay for general municipal workers in the region was the $55,563 paid to the Town of Ithaca’s 87 employees.
  • Seven of the ten highest-paid employees in the region were district attorneys.

The names, employers, system and pay of the 10 highest-paid local government employees in the region are below:

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The amounts listed in the report do not include fringe benefits such as health insurance or pension contributions, which can add more than 35 percent to the cost for taxpayers.

Click here to read the full report.

The Empire Center, based in Albany, is an independent, not-for-profit, non-partisan think tank dedicated to promoting policies that can make New York a better place to live, work and raise a family.

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The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank located in Albany, New York. Our mission is to make New York a better place to live and work by promoting public policy reforms grounded in free-market principles, personal responsibility, and the ideals of effective and accountable government.

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