What We Pay Them


By Beth Dodd:



In these hard times, everyone is stretching their dollars a little further, but some of us have fewer dollars to stretch. How does your job stack up? The figures below reveal what we are earning based upon where we live. Then we compare it with what local government employees are earning.


Keep in mind that these numbers are base salaries and may not show whether or not these positions include benefits like health care, retirement pension, paid sick and vacation time, and per diem for meals and travel. Actual compensation including benefits is probably higher. Also realize that these numbers may reflect an individual’s length of time in service or the degree of complexity and responsibility inherent to their positions. Senior public servants also may have started in entry level positions and moved up after fifteen or twenty years in their field of expertise.


In Colorado, the salaries of county elected officials are set by state statute CRS 30-2-102 based on the county’s population. These positions include the county treasurer, public trustee, assessor, commissioners, sheriff, clerk, coroner, and surveyor. Department head positions where salary levels are determined locally include county administrator, emergency management, social services, public works, finance, and IT/Support Services. City government salaries are also determined locally.


Colorado counties are sorted into six categories based on population with large counties like El Paso, which has the largest population in the state, in Category I, and the smallest counties like Kiowa in Category VI. Other Category I counties besides El Paso include Denver, Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Douglas, Jefferson, Larimer, Pueblo, and Weld Counties. Fremont County is in Category II along with Eagle, Summit, Garfield, La Plata, Mesa, and Pitkin Counties. Teller is in Category III with Park, Alamosa, Archuleta, Chaffee, Clear Creek, Delta, Gilpin, Grand, Gunnison, Las Animas, Moffat, Montezuma, Montrose, Morgan, Otero, Rio Blanco, San Miguel, Routt, and Logan Counties.


The county district attorney has a minimum pay level set by the state, but county commissioners can approve higher compensation. According to El Paso County Public Information Officer Dave Rose, El Paso/Teller D.A. Dan May has the highest caseload and population to serve of any Colorado D.A. and his salary is well below other large Colorado Counties.  By way of comparison, the Denver D.A. made $232,000 in 2012 and Mesa County (Grand Junction) earned $154,000.


Having been a public servant myself at the municipal, state, and federal levels, I have seen government employees come in early and stay late without extra pay, work nights, weekends, and holidays, negotiate complex and sometimes senseless regulations dictated to them by politicians with no knowledge of their jobs, and shoulder the extra workload when budgets shrank and their co-workers lost their jobs. It’s easier to criticize someone than to fill their shoes. Hats off to the folks who keep the wheels turning!


Median Average Household Income by City:

Victor $37,847

Colorado Springs $40,688

Cripple Creek $46,160

National Average $51,914

Colorado Average $56,456

Manitou Springs $64,361

Woodland Park $67,034

Source: www.Metasalary.com. Data from U.S. Census Bureau and user surveys.


Victor City Employee Salaries or Stipends 2013

Councilor Stipend  $4,800

Buck Hakes, Mayor Stipend  $7,200

Sandy Honeycutt, City Clerk $33,488

Dan Delaney, Public Works $41,407

Deb Downs, City Administrator $65,000

Source: City of Victor


Cripple Creek City Employee Salaries 2013

Bruce Brown, Mayor/City Council  $7,179 (average)

Debra Blevins, City Clerk $63,907

Carol Stotts, Human Resources Director $67,103

Jim Blasing, Interim Public Works Director $75,668

April Peterson, Police Chief $77,459

Randall Baldwin, Fire Chief $82,801

Paul Harris, Finance Director $90,843

Ray White, City Administrator $96,316

Source: City of Cripple Creek


Woodland Park City Employee Salaries 2013

David Turley, Mayor and the City Council          $0

Kip Wiley, Utilities Director  $70,680

Sally Riley, Planning Director  $78,402

Brian Fleer, DDA Director  $85,111

Kellie Case, Finance Director  $91,199

Bob Larson, Chief of Police  $93,331

Cindy Morse, City Clerk $100,226

Bill Alspach, Public Works $103,524

David Buttery, City Manager $114,525

Source: City of Woodland Park


Colorado Springs City Employees Salaries 2012:

City Council Members       $6,250

Steve Bach, Mayor    $96,000

Pete Carey, Police Chief $142,697

Rich Brown, Fire Chief $147,657

Laura Newman, Chief Admin Officer $165,000

Bob Cope, Chief of Econ Vitality $182,488

Christopher Melcher, City Attorney $183,000

Source: Colorado Springs Gazette, Colorado Springs Employee Salary Database


Median Average Household Income by County:

Fremont County $37,847

Denver County $45,501

National Average $51,914

El Paso County $56,268

Colorado Average $56,456

Teller County $58,080

Park County $64,098

Douglas County $99,198

Source: www.Metasalary.com. Data from U.S. Census Bureau and user surveys.


Teller County Employee Salaries 2012

Bob Campbell, Treasurer $58,500

Bob Campbell, Public Trustee $12,500

Betty Clark-Wine, Assessor $58,500

Krystal Brown, Clerk & Recorder $58,500

Norm Steen, Dave Paul, Marc Dettenrieder,

Commissioners each $58,500

Steven Steed, Dir. Emergency Management $66,340

Kim Mauthe, Dir. Social Services $70,423

Mike Ensminger, Sheriff $76,000

Fred Clifford, Director of Public Works $79,135

Laurie Litwin, Director of Finance $86,872

Craig Alexander, Director of IT $87,768

Sheryl Decker, Administrator $98,378

Source: Teller County


Fremont County Employees Salaries 2013

Preston S. Morrisey, Emergency Mgt $45,200

Lisa Hall, IT Administrator $49,525

Carla Dionne, Public Health $65,984

Sunny Bryant, Budget and Finance $70,000

Pat McFarland, Treasurer $72,500

Stacey Seifert, Assessor $72,500

Debbie Bell, Ed Norden, Tim Payne,

Commissioners each $72,500

Jim Beicker, Sheriff $87,700

Steve Clifton, Human Services $93,084

George Sugars, County Manager $95,450


El Paso County Employee Salaries 2013

Robert Balink, Treasurer $87,300

Mark Lowderman, Assessor $87,300

Wayne W. Williams, Clerk & Recorder $87,300

Dennis Hisey, Amy Lathan, Sallie Clark,

Darryl Glenn, Peggy Littleton,

Commissioners each $87,300

Interim Employee, Emergency Services $100,530

Terry Maketa, Sheriff $111,000

Monnie Gore, Public Services/Deputy

Administrator $123,000

Richard Bengston, Human Services $123,000

Nicola Sapp, Budget & Economic Devel $123,000

Imad Karaki, Support Services $123,000

Jeff Greene, Administrator $142,000

Dan May, El Paso/Teller District Attorney $144,000

Source: El Paso County