Meridian is the fastest growing city in Idaho. Here’s what that means.
Meridian city government employees are paid an average of $29.35 an hour.
The highest paid is the city attorney, who makes an annual salary of about $134,000. He’s followed closely by Meridian Police Chief Jeff Lavey, whose deputies and lieutenants also rank among Meridian’s top-paid employees.
The lowest-paid workers are interns and seasonal parks employees, such as scorekeepers. Those employees make between $8 and $15 an hour.
See the hourly pay rate for hundreds of jobs in the City of Meridian, as of March 11:
City of Meridian salary database
(Hint: To see all employees, leave the search fields empty and just hit the “Search” button.)
BEHIND OUR REPORTING
Why did we make this public?
Public employees work for taxpayers. Their salaries and wages are public information.
Idaho state employee pay has been publicly available on various websites, including the Idaho Statesman’s, for years. But until now, there wasn’t an easy way to see what Treasure Valley’s local governments pay their employees.
We believe there is value in opening the curtains to show how governments spend taxpayer money. Not only can that sunshine help prevent and catch fraud, waste and abuse; it lets us see how wages differ between, and within, the many offices of our local governments.
Have an idea for another database? Think we should make more information public? Contact watchdog and data journalist Audrey Dutton at firstname.lastname@example.org or (208) 377-6448.
How did we get the data?
We requested payroll data from local governments in March 2019. All eight governments — Ada County, Canyon County and the cities of Boise, Caldwell, Eagle, Garden City, Meridian and Nampa — emailed us the records in a timely fashion.
We reached out to human resources and public information officers. They helped us figure out how to make the information as clear and consistent as possible. But some quirks survived. For example, you’ll find employees of Eagle, Kuna and Star police departments in Ada County’s payroll database. That’s because the Ada County Sheriff’s Office has special contracts with those police departments.
What's the fine print?
First, this is a snapshot in time. Employees are hired, fired, promoted and given raises every day.
Second, employees aren’t all paid the same way. For the most part, you can figure out an employee’s annual pay by multiplying their hourly rate by 2,080. But that’s not always true. Some employees are part-time. Some, like council members, are paid a set amount. Others work more hours than normal and/or get overtime — emergency first responders especially — so their annual pay may be higher than their hourly rate would suggest.
Finally, the “hire date” isn’t necessarily the date that person first joined the ranks of public servants. Some employees are seasonal, temporary or took other jobs between stints working for the city or county.
The Idaho Statesman obtained the payroll data from Meridian through a public records request.