Mega-salaries, benefits awarded in the worst of times
Recently we’ve been exposing the grossly excessive pay hikes and benefits packages of some of our illustrious Valley notables. Phoenix City Manager David Cavazos grabbed our attention in Dec. 2012 with his massive 33% raise, which amounts to an extra $78,000 a year! He will now be pulling down a yearly base salary of $315,000 plus a $600 monthly car allowance, $35,000 a year in deferred compensation, and a $4,000 “longevity” bonus.
Yesterday we provided the lowdown on the swell deals benefiting ASU President Michael Crow and his wife Sybil Francis. His annual salary of $475,000 plus benefits now comes in at $742,500. That includes a $50,000 housing allowance to assist in maintaining their exclusive $1,250,000 Paradise Valley digs, and $10,000 yearly car allowance. The ASU Foundation on which his wife serves as a “senior advisor” kicks in an additional $100,000 annually in compensation. His yearly perks include $85,500 pension and $22,000 in retirement. Annual step-up bonuses are part of the deal: 2013: Up to $40,000, 2014: Up to $40,000 and the major step-up in 2015: Up to $180,000 for exceeding “benchmarks.” Wifey Sybil Francis rakes in a six-figure income from the university, but the exact amount is elusive.
Taxpayer’s heads should be swimming with the news already provided. But then comes the deal of deals that Betsey Bayless, the CEO and president of Maricopa Integrated Health System (MIHS) has brokered. She just received a hefty $125,000 raise. Her base salary soared 33% overnight, from $375,003 to $500,000 — excluding benefits.
Bayless will also be allowed to enter into a 409A retirement scheme into which she contributes not a thin dime, but MIHS makes all contributions. If that’s not enough, she will garner up to a additional $125,000 by meeting various “performance goals.” Not bad for an unqualified, but well-connected political hack with one foot already out the door.
The five-member Board of Directors of the state’s largest public health-care system approved the raise this past week on a 3-2 vote. Check out the front page of the Fiscal Year 2013 Annual Budget Book. Longtime politico and perennial appointee Bayless is pictured center right, smiling broadly, of course, while oddly wearing a doctor’s coat.
According to a report in the daily, Bayless was set to retire from her position last year. But on Dec. 31, the last day of her term, the board extended her contract while a search is underway for her replacement. Board Chairwoman Susan Gerard, a longtime Bayless associate, and board member Elbert Bicknell, voted against the pay raise. The three newly elected board members Mary Harden, Mark Dewane and Terence McMahon, who could afford to take the heat, approved the increase, saying they wanted to give Bayless a raise since the national search firm for Bayless’ replacement regarded her salary “well below” the median range for others in comparable positions.
Let’s put this all in perspective: The $217,400 salary of the chief justice of the United States Supreme Court pales in comparison. The President of the United States, whose base salary tops out at $400,000 a year, trails both Michael Crow and Betsey Bayless. David Cavazos, Phoenix’ problem plagued city manager, is right on the POTUS’ tail and has left Justice John Roberts in the dust.
These lavish gifts are your tax dollars, folks.