Board of Education, police top list of top paid New Canaan employees
NEW CANAAN — It pays to stay in school.
Or so New Canaan’s list of top paid town employees for Fiscal Year 2016-2017 would seem to suggest.
The list, which features school administrators and police personnel, is headed by Bryan Luizzi, who was appointed to the position of Superintendent of Schools in 2014 and holds a doctorate degree. The town’s top paid employee, Luizzi grossed $255,852, slightly less than Darien Superintendent of Schools Daniel Brenner, who earned $265,074.
“Our superintendent and administrative team do an outstanding job for the students, families, and community of New Canaan,” said Dionna Carlson, chairman of the Board of Education. “Our regionally competitive salaries are one of the ways we attract such quality professionals to our school district.”
Luizzi was not alone on the list of Board of Education employees. Assistant Superintendent Jill Correnty made $196,342, Director of Finance and Operations Jo-Ann Keating made 193,34, and Director of Human Resources Gary Cass made $182,007.
School principals, too, were some of the highest paid town employees in the current year.
Top paid town employees Fiscal Year 2016-2017:
1. Bryan Luizzi, Superintendent, $255,852
2. William Ferri, Police Lieutenant, $210,181
3. Jason Ferraro, Police Lieutenant, $197,772
4. Jill Correnty, Assistant Superintendent, $196,342
5. Jo-Ann Keating, BOE Director of Finance and Operations, $193,640
6. William Egan, Principal — High School, $192, 649
7. Gary Kass, BOE Director of Human Resources, $182,007
8. Greg Macedo, Principal — Middle School, $177,624
T9. Joanne Rocco, Prcincipal — South Elementary, $171,737
Kristine Woleck, Principal — East Elementary, $171,737
Janet Murphy, Principal — West Elementary, $171,737
Darien High School principal Jay Egan was tops, bringing in $192,649. Saxe Middle School Principal Greg Macedo made 177,624. Meanwhile, South Elementary School principal Joanne Rocco, East Elementary School principal Kristine Woleck, and West Elementary School principal Janet Murphy each made $171,737.
“We hire some of the best educators in the state and beyond. Part of it is compensation, but the other part is the environment we’ve created and our focus on education. It’s a wonderful place to work,” Luizzi said.
For the two officers on the list, much of their gross pay comes in the form of overtime, which is paid by taxpayers, and outside duty work, which is paid by private contractors, on top of their relatively low base pay.
The gross earnings of Lt. William Ferri, for instance, were second highest of all town employees in Fiscal Year 2016-2017, at $210,181. His base pay, however, is set at $108,748. To nearly double his salary, Ferri worked 1,376 hours on the year, much of which was overtime and outside duty. Lt. Jason Ferraro, too, grossed $197,772, significantly higher than his base pay of $108,727.
According to Chief of Police Leon Krolikowski, it’s common for members of the force to work six or seven days of the week, often sacrificing their personal lives for the job. According to numbers from Krolikowski, the top ten highest earners within the department tallied anywhere from 300 to 850 hours of overtime in the last year, on top of their full-time responsibilities and extra-duty.
“Lt. Ferri is coming up on 50 years with the force. He just loves to work and has incredible energy,” Krolikowski said. “It’s a huge amount of time. And it’s not easy work most of the time.”
According to Paul Foley, a member of the police commission, extra duty work might include working football games or other high school sporting events, conducting traffic during paving projects, or private security detail.
“We’ve got a great force. I’m really proud of the way our officers have stepped up when we’ve had openings or needed exams to be taken,” Foley said. “I go out on rides with these men and women regularly, and their professionalism, attention to detail and ability to do real community policing shows up every time.”