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Starkman: At ABC6, Seeking the Line Between Activism, Journalism

Friday, December 27, 2013

 

One of the big journalism debates in this age of media disruption centers on the degree to which journalists and news organizations should maintain their “objectivity,” a rigid segregation of newsgathering from political views, or whether reporters should be allowed to play more activist roles and wear their political views on their sleeve.

Back in October, for instance, the former top editor of The New York Times, Bill Keller, engaged in a celebrated, lengthy back-and-forth with Glenn Greenwald, ex-of the U.K’s Guardian newspaper and the reporter behind the blockbuster National Security Agency leaks by Edward Snowden.

Keller argued that maintaining an appearance of “impartiality” was crucial for maintaining the public trust. Greenwald said objectivity is a pretense that fools no one since everyone has beliefs, and it’s more honest just to reveal them rather than pretend that news organizations are comprised of so many robots.

Two issues

That’s one issue. A second involves the technological revolution -- the smart phones, complete with video cameras and recording equipment, that have become so ubiquitous so as to turn almost everyone into a reporter, or at least a fact-gatherer, especially during breaking news events like natural disasters and political gatherings.

At ABC6, these momentous issues come together in a small way in an interesting case that involves a news executive, importantly a non-journalist, and a volatile local issue in Fairhaven, MA, where wind turbines have generated great controversy.

Recently, a reader wrote me to complain that an ABC6 manager, John Methia, was, in his off-hours, also involved in a local group called Wind Wise Massachusetts, which seeks, as it says on its website, to “challenge assumptions about wind turbines,” and is routinely described in news accounts as a “turbine opposition group.” The group raises a range of concerns about the turbines ranging from health, safety, and noise to their viability as an economical source of power.

Controversial

Sixteen towns in eastern Massachusetts have wind turbines, and, residents have raised complaints in at least five of them.

Fair enough. This is how democracy is supposed to work, and even people who work for news organizations are citizens, too. (If you’re wondering, I don’t have a view on the substance of the matter, and, yes, I think that does make me impartial.)

It’s important to remember that Methia is not -- repeat, not --a journalist within ABC6 as an organization. More on this point below.

Methia would, however, qualify as a Wind Wise activist under any commonsense definition of the term. He is listed as a contact on Wind Wise press material, and, according to this account in SouthCoast Today, produced at least one video for the group:

       Windwise member Louise Barteau said the group decided to make the video to "get beyond the political signs on people's lawns and show the faces of the issue."

       She and fellow Wind Wise members Kenneth Pottel and John Methia knocked on doors in the neighborhoods near the turbines to find interview subjects, many of whom, Barteau said, “ have not previously described their experiences publicly.”

And when a pro-turbine candidate, Peter DeTerra, in September handily beat turbine skeptic John Wethington for a seat on the city’s Board of Health, in a redo of a hotly contest race, Methia publicly expressed his disappointment:

       Turbine neighbor John Methia, who is also a member of the turbine-opposition group WindWise, said "We obviously don't feel good”

Straightforward coverage

ABC 6 has indeed covered the issue – it’s hard to avoid if you’re covering Fairhaven – relying on its chief political reporter, Mark Curtis, and from what I’ve seen, the pieces have been pretty straightforward. These two were sent to me, and you can judge for yourself.

The reader objects to Curtis’s use of such constructions as “critics say,” as in:

       "There are critics in Fairhaven who say the turbines never should have been built on soil that is too wet and sandy.”

But, critics do say that, and, in fact, one critic does so in the next paragraph.

I asked Methia about the complaint. He forwarded my query to the station’s general manager, Christopher Tzianabos, who (kindly interrupting his holiday) sent me a detailed reply, which I’ll quote at some length.

Response from ABC6

His first point, is, as stated, that Methia is not a journalist, but is director of broadcast operations:

       …[A]s such, he oversees our studio operations; commercial/promotion production; and engineering. Essentially his job is to keep us on the air, and looking professional. He has no oversight or editorial role in our actual news content or newscasts. That executive position belongs to our News Director. In short, John’s contribution to our news operation is to have the lights on; the cameras working properly; and the signal going out to our viewers.

A newspaper equivalent would be the head of the circulation department or the printing plant.

Having said that, Tzianabos says, “I expect all of our employees to be the ‘eyes and ears’ in their respective communities,” and Methia has provided info on local news including upcoming turbine hearings and the like, plus, of course, non-turbine news, including word that a U.S. Marine from Fairhaven was killed this month in Afghanistan.

Still, at this point, Methia should be counted, as Tzianabos says, as a “tipster,” a source, and nothing more

But, as noted, Methia has also twice contributed video to WLNE broadcasts, Tzianabos says.

Two videos

The Board of Health election this fall was actually a do-over from one on April 1, 2012, when candidate Wethington was, mistakenly it turned out, declared the victor over DeTerra, the incumbent. Methia was there and shot video when Wethington was (again, mistakenly) sworn-in afterward by the town clerk.

 Here's Tzianabos:

       "John Methia used his cell phone to videotape Wethington taking the oath of office from the Town Clerk. Later that night, the Clerk found some previously uncounted ballots, and declared DeTerra actually won. Apparently, she had sworn in the wrong man (which many thought was legally binding). To our knowledge, no other video or photo of the botched swearing-in existed. So Mark, used about: 12 (seconds) of John Methia’s swearing-in video, which was a public event in a public office. A judge eventually ruled the race was a tie, and a new election was held. That’s a pretty big news story, which we covered extensively."

The only other time such video used was when Methia shot Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection personnel conducting late-night noise tests in response to complaints from residents about turbine noise:

       John videotaped the state inspectors conducting the tests sometime between 1 and 4 a.m. in, I believe, October 2011. When the state later found the turbines in violation of noise standards, Mark used about: 10 to: 15 (seconds) of the video of the testing, in one of his stories. Other than providing the video of public officials doing their job in public sight (which is fair game), John had no other role in the story script or editorial decisions.

       Both brief pieces of video captured public events, very germane to this ongoing story. Our News Director authorized Mark to use them.

A bit more

And a bit more from Tzianabos:

       I agree the turbines are a political issue, but they are much, much more that that. They pose legal issues, public health issues, a statutory compliance issue, and an issue of sustainable, alternative energy and its environmental impact. There’s a lot there. The fact that a municipal election – in which the turbines were a central issue – ended in a tie and had to be ruled on by the courts, tells you just how big of a deal this has been. Our News Director and producers have had lengthy discussions with Mark about covering various developments in this story. I have occasionally interjected my thoughts as well. John Methia has no part in our editorial meetings or discussions, or the ultimate end product of Mark’s stories. I think our procedures have led to fair, unbiased coverage and we will continue to do so.

Where does this leave us?

In my view, Methia’s mere status as an activist does not present a conflict with his non-news role at ABC6. News personnel have a special status, and responsibility, that other employees do not. I’m not prepared to advocate a blanket rule against non-journalists taking part in political controversy.

But does his mere status as an activist create for ABC6 an appearance of conflict, as opposed to an actual conflict. Perhaps this is more in the eye of the beholder, but in my view, no.

And the video?

But what about the video? To me, that’s different. When Methia is shooting footage, he starts to put on a journalist’s hat. He is gathering news. I don’t see much distinction between taking photos, or video, and taking notes in a reporter’s notebook. Each act requires a process of selection. Some images or facts are included; some are left out. It shouldn’t come as a huge shock, for instance, that the Methia video that made it on the air would tend to be material that the anti-turbine people would want to see.

But wait: shouldn’t Methia’s video be considered like any other video coming over the transom – something to be evaluated by news personnel?

In theory, there’s no difference. But in practice, what’s happening here is that a news organization employee – and with some clout, after all, even if he’s not on the news side -- is gathering material for broadcast, and lo, it gets on the air.

Here, the pro-turbine people would seem to have a beef. Indeed, it’s a lot for ABC6 to ask viewers to trust some theoretical Chinese Wall between the business side and news, especially on such a hot-button issue. This is a bridge too far.

Close call

Is this the biggest deal in the world? No. To me, it’s a foot-fault. Indeed, it’s the closeness of the issues that makes the case so interesting.

In fact, I’d slice the salami even thinner. I would have used the video of the botched swearing-in –no comparable footage exists, and that moment needs to be in the public record – and bagged the middle-of-the-night inspection video.

Why? Because if it was that important, WLNE could have sent a camera crew to cover it. If the station pleads a lack of manpower – and I’m sure that’s an issue – I’d says that the principle of relying on activists who work for you for basic news gathering is one to be avoided, no matter what, and that goes double for activist who work for you. Just do without footage.

Still, close call. If Methia wants to stay active, and there’s no real reason he shouldn’t, he should avoid news-gathering. If he wants to gather news, he should be held to journalists’ standards. And – sorry, Glenn Greenwald -- there is no way someone can be politically active on an issue and be involved with news coverage for a mainstream news organization. No way at all.


Related Slideshow:
City Employees with the Highest Salaries

How much does a top position in Rhode Island’s capital city fetch in pay and benefits? GoLocalProv has identified the 40 highest earners in the city (excluding school workers) by the amount of total compensation they receive. The data, which was provided by the city, breaks out pay in four categories: base pay, longevity, overtime, and details. City contributions towards three benefits are also shown: medical, dental, and retirement. In the below slides, the top 40 highest earning workers for fiscal year 2013 are listed from least to greatest.

Prev Next

#40 Alyssa B. Deandrade

Department: Police

Position: Police Lieutenant

Total Compensation: $146,690.77

Pay

Base: $77,210.61

Longevity: $7,393.16

Overtime: $22,337.05

Detail: $24,533.14

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $4,219.62

Dental: $421.72

Pension: $10,575.47

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#39 Arianne Lynch

Department: Mayor's Staff

Position: (Former) Deputy Chief Of Staff

Total Compensation: $147,159.76

Pay

Base: $127,507.25

Longevity: $0.00

Overtime: $0.00

Detail: $0.00

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $12,534.60

Dental: $1,380.08

Pension: $5,737.83

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#38 Clarence A. Cunha

Department: Fire

Position: Acting Deputy Assistant Chief

Total Compensation: $147,372.06

Pay

Base: $91,807.36

Longevity: $7,949.52

Overtime: $18,839.30

Detail: $0.00

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $14,789.32

Dental: $1,299.74

Pension: $12,686.83

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#37 Kristopher S. Wright

Department: Fire

Position: Firefighter

Total Compensation: $147,585.09

Pay

Base: $58,663.74

Longevity: $4,447.53

Overtime: $48,507.28

Detail: $11,848.81

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $14789.32

Dental: $1,299.74

Pension: $8,028.67

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#36 Thomas M. Miller

Department: Fire

Position: Fire Rescue Lieutenant

Total Compensation: $147,951.99

Pay

Base: $64,547.59

Longevity: $6,476.44

Overtime: $51,832.96

Detail: $0.00

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $14789.32

Dental: $1,299.74

Pension: $9,005.94

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#35 Daniel Crowley

Department: Fire

Position: Deputy Assistant Fire Chief

Total Compensation: $148,230.56

Pay

Base: $93,692.88

Longevity: $9,855.21

Overtime: $17,904.62

Detail: $0.00

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $12,534.6

Dental: $1,299.74

Pension: $12,943.51

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#34 Alan N. Lippacher

Department: Fire

Position: Fire Rescue Lieutenant

Total Compensation: $148,783.985

Pay

Base: $63,829.18

Longevity: $6,602.73

Overtime: $53,326.52

Detail: $0.00

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $14,789.32

Dental: $1,299.74

Pension: $8,936.495

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#33 David A. Soscia

Department: Fire

Position: Fire Battalion Chief

Total Compensation: $149,017.14

Pay

Base: $86,012.90

Longevity: $7,577.69

Overtime: $27,426.18

Detail: $0.00

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $14,789.32

Dental: $1,299.74

Pension: $11,911.31

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#32 Michael Krasnowiecki

Department: Fire

Position: Fire Captain

Total Compensation: $149,110.485

Pay

Base: $68,849.54

Longevity: $6,762.06

Overtime: $47,784.88

Detail: $0.00

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $14,789.32

Dental: $1,299.74

Pension: $9,624.945

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#31 Thomas E. Crowley

Department: Fire

Position: Fire Captain

Total Compensation: $149,965.63

Pay

Base: $69,535.07

Longevity: $7,177.86

Overtime: $47,429.98

Detail: $0.00

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $14,789.32

Dental: $1,299.74

Pension: $9,733.66

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#30 John P. Morgan

Department: Fire

Position: Firefighter

Total Compensation: $150,207.15

Pay

Base: $58,102.50

Longevity: $6,116.69

Overtime: $57,905.69

Detail: $3,847.12

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $14,789.32

Dental: $1,299.74

Pension: $8,146.09

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#29 Timothy S. Printer

Department: Fire

Position: Firefighter

Total Compensation: $150,731.68

Pay

Base: $58,369.52

Longevity: $6,115.36

Overtime: $61,938.32

Detail: $3,847.12

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $14,789.32

Dental: $1,299.74

Pension: $8,219.42

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#28 Adam Chuman

Department: Fire

Position: Firefighter

Total Compensation: $151,066.51

Pay

Base: $58,490.27

Longevity: $0.00

Overtime: $61,915.02

Detail: $7,149.18

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $14,789.32

Dental: $1,299.74

Pension: $7,422.98

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#27 Michael E. Correia

Department: Police

Position: Police Captain

Total Compensation: $151,421.89

Pay

Base: $81,206.12

Longevity: $8,538.4

Overtime: $36,811.50

Detail: $1,264.85

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $11,083.47

Dental: $1,299.48

Pension: $11,218.06

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#26 Stephany Blackwell

Department: Fire

Position: Fire Rescue Technician

Total Compensation: $154,001.24

Pay

Base: $61,045

Longevity: $4,086.68

Overtime: $64,492.87

Detail: $0.00

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $14,789.32

Dental: $1,299.74

Pension: $8,287.63

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#25 David J. Duggan

Department: Fire

Position: Firefighter

Total Compensation: $154,416.91

Pay

Base: $59,196.60

Longevity: $5,559.42

Overtime: $55,445.58

Detail: $9,910.95

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $14,789.32

Dental: $1,299.74

Pension: $8,215.30

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#24 Joseph R. Desmarais

Department: Fire

Position: Deputy Assistant Fire Chief

Total Compensation: $154,544.52

Pay

Base: $91,623.12

Longevity: $9,079.63

Overtime: $27,402.94

Detail: $0.00

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $12,534.60

Dental: $1,299.74

Pension: $12,604.49

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#23 William R. Kenyon

Department: Fire

Position: Fire Battalion Chief

Total Compensation: $154,611.78

Pay

Base: $83,959.36

Longevity: $7,290.02

Overtime: $35,718.41

Detail: $0.00

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $14,789.32

Dental: $1,299.74

Pension: $11,554.93

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#22 Bryan D. Hawkins

Department: Fire

Position: Fire Rescue Captain

Total Compensation: $155,608.63

Pay

Base: $69,542.14

Longevity: $6,601.81

Overtime: $41,215.01

Detail: $0.00

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $27,303.36

Dental: $1,299.74

Pension: $9,646.56

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#21 Steven Pare

Department: Administration

Position: Public Safety Commmissioner

Total Compensation: $156,147.90

Pay

Base: $149,423.83

Longevity: $0.00

Overtime: $0.00

Detail: $0.00

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: N/A

Dental: N/A

Pension: $6,724.07

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#20 Eric E. Fallon

Department: Fire

Position: Firefighter

Total Compensation: $156,404.55

Pay

Base: $55,236.24

Longevity: $5,829.36

Overtime: $63,076.02

Detail: $8,430.13

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $14,789.32

Dental: $1,299.74

Pension: $7,743.74

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#19 Brian R. Chin

Department: Fire

Position: Firefighter

Total Compensation: $157,360.51

Pay

Base: $58,983.30

Longevity: $0.00

Overtime: $84,865.12

Detail: $0.00

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $5,618.60

Dental: $421.46

Pension: $7,472.03

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#18 Carl H. Richards

Department: Fire

Position: Firefighter

Total Compensation: $157,878.05

Pay

Base: $57,446.04

Longevity: $6,115.36

Overtime: $64,351.37

Detail: $5,808.93

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $14,789.32

Dental: $1,299.74

Pension: $8,067.295

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#17 Fausto G. Garcia

Department: Police

Position: Police Officer

Total Compensation: $158,048.96

Pay

Base: $57,220.64

Longevity: $5,477.53

Overtime: $4,296.80

Detail: $70,833.77

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $11,083.47

Dental: $1,299.48

Pension: $7,837.27

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#16 Thomas L. Cassin

Department: Fire

Position: Fire Captain

Total Compensation: $158,104.17

Pay

Base: $68,755.40

Longevity: $7,305.32

Overtime: $56,308.60

Detail: $0.00

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $14,789.32

Dental: $1,299.74

Pension: $9,645.80

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Photo: Flick/401(K)2013

Prev Next

#15 Thomas F. Oates, III

Department: Police

Position: Deputy Police Chief

Total Compensation: $158,736.47

Pay

Base: $116,423.81

Longevity: $12,378.08

Overtime: $0.00

Detail: $0.00

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $12,534.60

Dental: $1,299.74

Pension: $16,100.24

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#14 Michael L. Pearis

Department: Finance Administration

Position: Director of Finance

Total Compensation: $159,370.71

Pay

Base: $139,192.37

Longevity: $0.00

Overtime: $0.00

Detail: $0.00

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $12,534.60

Dental: $1,380.08

Pension: $6,263.66

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#13 Peter A. Tagliaferri

Department: Fire

Position: Fire Rescue Lieutenant

Total Compensation: $159,656.86

Pay

Base: $63,350.24

Longevity: $4,877.01

Overtime: $66,683.79

Detail: $0.00

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $14,789.32

Dental: $1,299.74

Pension: $8,656.76

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#12 Michael A. Legault

Department: Fire

Position: Firefighter

Total Compensation: $159,740.28

Pay

Base: $57,446.04

Longevity: $6,115.36

Overtime: $72,016.89

Detail: $0.00

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $14,789.32

Dental: $1,299.74

Pension: $8,072.93

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#11 Gregory D. Paolo

Department: Police

Position: Police Sergeant

Total Compensation: $160,715.32

Pay

Base: $70,277.64

Longevity: $6,818.24

Overtime: $30,025.64

Detail: $31,573.87

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $11,083.47

Dental: $1,299.48

Pension: $9,636.985

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#10 Andre' M. Ferro

Department: Fire

Position: Firefighter

Total Compensation: $162,109.81

Pay

Base: $58,333.41

Longevity: $6,251.76

Overtime: $61,589.16

Detail: $11,668.47

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $14,789.32

Dental: $1299.74

Pension: $8,177.95

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#9 James P. Mirza

Department: Fire

Position: Deputy Assistant Fire Chief

Total Compensation: $164,737.13

Pay

Base: $91,623.12

Longevity: $9,722.85

Overtime: $36,888.57

Detail: $0.00

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $12,534.60

Dental: $1299.74

Pension: $12,668.24

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Photo: Flickr/Tax Credits

Prev Next

#8 J. J. Varone

Department: Fire

Position: Acting Fire Battalion Chief

Total Compensation: $165,600.53

Pay

Base: $84,914.32

Longevity: $7,290.02

Overtime: $45,628.29

Detail: $0.00

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $14,789.32

Dental: $1299.74

Pension: $11,678.85

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#7 James S. Bennett

Department: Planning & Development

Position: Director of Economic Development

Total Compensation: $170,061.83

Pay

Base: $149,423.11

Longevity: $0.00

Overtime: $0.00

Detail: $0.00

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $12,534.60

Dental: $1,380.08

Pension: $6,724.04

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#6 Zachariah Kenyon

Department: Fire

Position: Fire Rescue Lieutenant

Total Compensation: $172,514.51

Pay

Base: $63,589.71

Longevity: $4,877.01

Overtime: $79,272.01

Detail: $0.00

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $14,789.32

Dental: $1,299.74

Pension: $8,686.72

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Photo: Flickr/401(K) 2013

Prev Next

#5 Boyce Spinelli

Department: Water Supply Board

Position: General Manager, WSB

Total Compensation: $177,418.15

Pay

Base: $150,392.56

Longevity: $9,299.47

Overtime: $0.00

Detail: $0.00

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $9,159.90

Dental: $1,380.08

Pension: $7,186.14

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#4 Hugh T. Clements, Jr.

Department: Police

Position: Police Chief

Total Compensation: $180,872.02

Pay

Base: $134,397.90

Longevity: $14,080.04

Overtime: $0.00

Detail: $0.00

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $12,534.60

Dental: $1,299.74

Pension: $18,559.74

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#3 Luis F. Sanlucas

Department: Police

Position: Police Lieutenant

Total Compensation: $190,234.68

Pay

Base: $77,210.61

Longevity: $8,148.40

Overtime: $9,003.18

Detail: $72,819.67

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $11,083.47

Dental: $1,299.48

Pension: $10,669.88

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#2 Michael D'Amico

Department: Mayor Staff

Position: Director of Administration

Total Compensation: $196,086.60

Pay

Base: $174,327.20

Longevity: $0.00

Overtime: $0.00

Detail: $0.00

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $12,534.60

Dental: $1,380.08

Pension: $7,844.724

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#1 Vincent J. D'Ambra

Department: Fire

Position: Fire Rescue Captain

Total Compensation: $218,145.27

Pay

Base: $68,762.44

Longevity: $7,290.03

Overtime: $116,356.94

Detail: $0.00

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $14,789.32

Dental: $1,299.74

Pension: $9,646.80

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

 
 

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Comments:

Johnny cakes

“Keller argued that maintaining an appearance of “impartiality” was crucial for maintaining the public trust.”
What public trust? When any organization reports “news” most don’t understand that they are not in the business to inform us but to sell advertising. Of course this doesn’t effect their reporting? To say that news is impartial is laughable, and reprehensible. News like everything else is a political question.
If news is objective why are so many uninformed and misinformed, but we won’t get into that?
There has been a so-called debate in Rhode Island about a wind farm off of Block Island. How many know that “green energy” is often taken offline by the grid system operator?
“In New England in recent months, the grid system operator has cut back power from wind and hydroelectric plants several times, generally, its representatives say, because they were making too much electricity.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/15/business/energy-environment/intermittent-nature-of-green-power-is-challenge-for-utilities.html?_r=0&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1388164591-gf0neF5NUWh1I8UmUQcwfA

Recently, Joseph Caramadre was found guilty of insurance fraud in RI. The political courts in tandem with the political press tried and convicted this guy in the court of public opinion. If you were to dig a little deeper into this political trial you would see that a small-time shyster got over on the big-time shysters using their own contracts, and is going to jail for it.
Read this article written by ProPublica and you will receive a totally different picture than what was presented by the “objective” news media. I am not defending this guy, only his right to a fair trial - which he never received. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/25/joseph-carmadre-robin-hood_n_1829990.html

paul zecchino

The guy over at Channel 6 opposes windmill scams? Good. Points in his favor. So, it's wrong for him to be an advocacy journalist, but OK for scads of intergenerational left wingers to pose as journalists for the TV stooge network news?


NYSLIMES has never been objective? Who they tryin', kid here?


NYSLIMES does cover all sides of the issue: The maoist side, the Stalinist perspective, the Leninist viewpoint, and the castroite take on matters.

NYSLIMES relentless promoted soviet union and denied the Holodmor famine in the Ukraine which killed millions, and still denies it today.

NYSLIMES relentless promoted castro as a 'great friend to America, an staunch anti-communist, and peaceful agrarian reformer'.


NYSLIMES' editor of renown, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, used his pinksheet to rail against the evils of firearms, advocating a total ban on all guns, no citizen should be permitted to own guns, etc. all the while holding an impossible to get NY Carry Permit.

But of course, he was of the 'Elites' and the rest of us are just useless eaters ripe for the plunder, aren't they?

Good of the Net to come along and smash the news monopoly run by old Elites, Swells, wankers, and tossers to pieces.

It will never ever be put back together.

Truth endures. Socialist advocacy journalism stinks, and goes the way of all maggot-infested organic matter: to nothing.

bill bentley

Journalist standards, what a crock. Its all propaganda.




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