Highest-Paid Black Public Officials: Select Group Includes Health-Care Executives, School Superintendents, Mayors and Police Chiefs

Ebony, April 1996 | Go to article overview

Highest-Paid Black Public Officials: Select Group Includes Health-Care Executives, School Superintendents, Mayors and Police Chiefs


It has often been said that if you want to make money, don't work for the government. But some Blacks in 1996 are proving that adage wrong. For the first time in history, salaries of Blacks in the public sector have topped $200,000 per year, and in a couple of cases have passed the $250,000 and even the $300,000 mark.

Among the top money-making Blacks in government are several health-care executives, school superintendents, secretaries in President Bill Clinton's cabinet, mayors and police chiefs. At the top of the list is Donald E. Wilson, the dean of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, who earns between $300,000 and $400,000 annually. Wilson would not divulge his exact salary. Neither would Kevin E. Lofton, associate vice-president for Health Affairs at The University of Alabama at Birmingham. Lofton, who also serves as executive director and chief executive officer of the university hospital, would only say be earns between 250,000 and $350,000 annually.

On the surface, these salaries may seem large, especially in the face of such tough economic times for federal, state and local governments. But in fact, the pay is meager when compared to salaries earned in comparable private sector jobs, where Multimillion-dollar wages are common for executives of large companies. "It's fair to say that an overwhelming majority of these public officials are underpaid," says Shep Wilborn of the National Association of Black Elected Officials.

San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown agrees, saying while it's not time to pass around the collection plate for these top government officials,, it is time to re-examine their worth. "On my way out the door, I intend to make the case that the mayor of San Francisco should make more money," says Brown, who earns $139,000 annually, not enough, the flamboyant mayor says, to pay for private social parties at his borne and his wardrobe expenses. "My position is superior to that of a CEO of a company. I am CEO of the health department, CEO of the police department, and so on. These are separate and distinct agencies and it is my job to hiring them all together."

While there are undoubtedly some top-paid African-American public officials missing from the following list, it is still one of the most, if not the only, comprehensive salary study of Black public sector executives conducted since EBONY last did a similar study in 1990. Since then, many of the public officials who made our fist have either moved on to other positions, retired or been bumped off the list by newcomers. But there are a few familiar faces. Lois Jean Moore, CEO of Harris County (Texas) Hospital District, was the only woman on the 1990 list and she is the only woman in the top 10 this year. Ezunial Burts, executive director for the Port of Los Angeles, also made both lists.

Meanwhile, Seattle Mayor Norm Rice, a newcomer to the list, says public officials do not seek their positions for the money, even though some taxpayers may be convinced otherwise. "One of the hardest things in the world for a public official to do is justify his or her salary because people don't see mayors and other public officials as executives over million-dollar and sometimes billion-dollar budgets," says Rice, who earns $105,000 annually. "But in reality I don't think any of us thought about salary when we entered government. We're not in this for the money."

RELATED ARTICLE: 10 At The Top

NAME POSITION SALARY Donald E. Wilson Dean, University of Maryland

School of Medicine $300,000-$400,000 Kevin E. Lofton CEO, University of Alabama/

Birmingham Hospital $250,000-$350,000 Rudulph F. Crew Chancellor, New York City

Public Schools $195,000 Michael Butler CAO, The Medical Center

of Louisiana $190,000 Lois Jean Moore CEO, Harris County (Texas)

Hospital District $173,0000 Willie Williams Chief, Los Angeles

Police Department $166,455 Clarence Thomas Associate Justice,

U. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Highest-Paid Black Public Officials: Select Group Includes Health-Care Executives, School Superintendents, Mayors and Police Chiefs
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.