GLOBE FILE PHOTO
Mayor Richard Howard ranks 37th on the list.
Seventy-nine employees earned more than $100,000 from the City of Malden in 2008, including 39 police officers and 35 educators, according to public records obtained by the Globe.
Police dominated the list of the city’s highest paid workers, with eight lieutenants and captains landing in the top 10. Police Lieutenant Paul Hopkins was the highest paid city worker in 2008, earning $175,601. Police Lieutenant Joseph Pontbriand was the second highest, earning $169,960.
Two school department officials also made the top 10, led by Superintendent Sidney Smith, who earned $166,500 in 2008. The 10th-highest paid city worker was Ferryway School assistant principal Paul Abare, who earned $130,868.
Mayor Richard Howard, who ranked number 37 in the top 100, said he was not surprised by the list and believes it’s necessary to pay people well to fill key positions. He added that many could receive more money if they worked in the private sector.
‘‘You’ve got to pay,’’ said Howard, who oversees an annual budget of $153 million in the city of 54,000. ‘‘I would say we’re probably right in the middle of the pack in terms of where we sit and what typical salaries are for departments in municipal business.’’
In nearby Medford, a city of 55,000, Mayor Michael McGlynn made $138,426 in 2008 — almost 20 percent more than Howard, who earned $114,400. Malden Police Chief Kenneth Coye earned $119,758, almost $17,000 less than Medford Chief Leo Sacco Jr. Malden’s school superintendent, Smith, earned $6,300 more than Medford’s superintendent, Roy Belson, who earned $160,200.
Coye, the police chief, acknowledged that police are well-paid and said that beyond salary, officers are eligible to work overtime along with traffic and security details.
Unlike Medford, the city of Malden did not provide a breakdown of pay by details, overtime, and other categories as requested by the Globe through the Freedom of Information Act. Coye could not give a line-item list of how Hopkins, the lieutenant, earned his $175,600, but said it was through a combination of overtime, detail, and Quinn Bill higher education benefits.
Hopkins could not be reached for comment.
In 2008, 12 patrolmen made more than $100,000, nearly doubling their base salaries by working extra shifts and receiving Quinn Bill funding.
While 44 of the police department’s 107 officers made $95,000 or more in 2008, Coye said the downturn in the economy would contribute to Malden police earning between $15,000 and $20,000 less this year. Though the city is still contributing $450,000 to the police department to pay for the Quinn Bill, the state — which previously matched the city contribution — will give Malden less than $100,000 in the coming year because Governor Deval Patrick and legislators cut 80 percent of the bill’s funding statewide.
Coye said he plans to decrease overtime by at least $50,000, and the department already has eliminated hiring three extra officers for the Friday and Saturday midnight shift. In addition, detail work is down at least 50 percent, the chief said.
Coye, whose current budget of $7.9 million is $1.1 million less than in fiscal year 2009, said the department is expecting to save as much as $700,000 by not filling seven positions. He also said the department could save $35,000 by preventing accidents that occur when officers use sirens in their squad cars. Now, officers can only use a siren during medical emergencies, when officers request back up, or to go through red lights at intersections.
In the school department, Smith also is dealing with less funding and has fewer educators this year. With a $48.9 million budget, about $2 million less than last fiscal year, Smith cut 52 school workers — including 19 teachers and assistant Superintendent Jo Sullivan, who earned $128,460 and was the 12th highest paid city employee in 2008.
‘‘Every single cut we made was a difficult one,’’ said Smith, who came to Malden in July 2007 after serving as director of curriculum and instruction for the Boston public schools. Smith, who oversees 700 school workers — including 500 teachers for seven schools — said the district saved $2.5 million with the layoffs.
Smith said there are now nine nonunion administrative positions in the school system, with seven principals, one assistant superintendent, and himself. The union workers also include assistant principals and directors of programs, allowing for 26 administrators to receive salaries that exceeded $100,000 in 2008.
With just one assistant superintendent, Smith said he had taken on increased responsibilities this year overseeing the district’s curriculum. ‘‘We’re running a pretty lean machine right now; people are working their tails off,’’ he said.
Smith said all of the salaries are set by collective bargaining except for the principals, assistant superintendent, and his own post. The average superintendent makes $144,000 a year, according to the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents.
While nine Malden school teachers made at least $100,000 in 2008, the highest teacher salary in Medford was $94,779.
Steven Rosenberg can be reached at email@example.com.