These Are The Highest-Paid City Employees In Sioux Falls

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – It’s no secret that city employees’ paychecks come from taxpayer money. So, have you ever wondered who the highest paid city employees are? Hint – it’s not the mayor.

The city says it hires independent consultants every eight to 10 years to make sure it’s recruiting top talent. The city doesn’t want to lose employees to the private sector.

“We’re not Microsoft,” said the city’s human resources director, Bill O’Toole. “We can’t pay at the very top. We’ve gotten very, very practical at how we do this, and we think we do a very good job.”

According to public records, the highest paid city employee is Doctor Jennifer Tinguely, the chief medical officer. She earns $227,364.80 annually. Human resources confirmed that she’s the only city employee earning over $200,000 this year.

Mark Cotter, the director of public works, is the second highest-paid employee, earning $191,027.20.

If you’re curious, Mayor Paul TenHaken makes less than those two do. His 2019 salary is $127,940.80.

Another fun fact – the senior librarian for the city actually makes six figures. That’s because many of those jobs, like senior librarian, specifically require advanced degrees.

So, how do salaries vary over time?

“Every position has a minimum and a maximum,  whether it’s a city director or somebody governed by one of the labor contracts,” said O’Toole.

With good job performance, there are typically nine steps to get from that minimum to that maximum.

“For the first five steps, you’re eligible for a merit increase annually,” said O’Toole. “Between steps five through nine, it’s every 24 months.”

That means it takes 12 years to reach your maximum earning potential with that position. The city does, however, look at inflation.

All of those salaries for Sioux Falls city employees. The highest paid state employee isn’t the governor. It’s the dean of the Sanford School of Medicine, who earns more than $583,000 dollars per year.

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