The City of Wichita paid thousands of employees last year, from police officers and bus drivers who navigate neighborhood streets to elected council members and employees who answer questions from downtown residents at the ‘city Hall.
Collectively, those 3,834 workers earned nearly $183.6 million and logged more than 6.8 million hours, according to a Wichita Eagle analysis of public payroll data from 2021. The figures include more than 270,000 hours additional costs that cost the city more than $8.8 million, according to the data.
Last year, the city’s top earner, Robert Layton, earned a total of $239,065.50 in his role as city manager. Fire Division Chief James Wilson came second with $232,353.40 in salary, followed by former Police Chief Gordon Ramsay with $220,791.17; Police Lt. Danny Brown with $207,509.44; and City Attorney and Director of Law Jennifer Magana with $200,794.04.
Two hundred and forty employees earned $100,000 or more in total compensation, which includes all types of compensation including base, special and overtime pay, according to the data. More than half of six-figure earners (137) worked for the police department as sergeants (51), lieutenants (34), detectives (31), captains (12), officers (5), deputy chiefs (3 ) and the leader (1). Overtime pay has pushed some of these employees over the $100,000 mark.
Everyone else earned less, $42,966.54 in total compensation on average across all departments.
Legal department employees average the highest overall annual salary: $74,701.94. Twenty-eight people, mostly lawyers, worked there last year.
The 17 employees in the planning department had the second highest average overall salary, with total compensation of $68,223.39.
Employees in the Department of Cultural Arts, Parks and Recreation earned the least on average last year, $14,799.14 a year – a figure largely attributable to the number of low-wage seasonal and part-time jobs, such as pool lifeguards and recreation aides who don’t work year round, fall under the umbrella of this department. Last year, 614 people were employed there.
Employees of the police department – the largest in the city in 2021, with 943 workers – earned more than a third of total overtime (92,170.79) and got nearly half of overtime pay ($4.24 million). Employees in the public works and utilities department came second with about 27% of overtime (74,424.21) and wages ($2.39 million); the department was the second largest in the city last year, with 735 workers.
The Eagle has published the payroll data, obtained through a request for records, in a database that you can search. It includes public salary information such as total compensation, hourly pay, overtime, and other facts for any City of Wichita employee who received pay in 2021.
You can search below using an employee’s name, department or position, or any combination of these fields. You can also quickly see who earned overtime (2,204 workers), which employees were hired (602 people) or left their job (781 people), and who earned $100,000 or more by checking the corresponding boxes.
To see all employees, just press the “search” button.
You can see the top 5 city earners in each department here.