Chron: Salaries soar at Harris County Housing Authority

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Salaries soar at Harris County Housing Authority: Increases nearly triple some officials’ pay – Mike Morris, Houston Chronicle

Harris County Housing Authority leaders have received steep salary increases and staggering bonuses in recent years, nearly tripling some executives’ pay since 2004.

As CEO, Guy Rankin’s salary has gone from $99,507 when he took over in July 2004 to $263,965 three years ago. That included a $60,000 bonus, dubbed “equalization pay” in authority records. This year, while not scheduled to receive a bonus, he stands to make $242,008.

The authority’s second-in-command, David Gunter, was making $74,256 as a senior accountant when Rankin became CEO. He since has been promoted three times, to chief administrative officer, and will receive $220,001 this year. That includes a $55,000 bonus. His pay exceeds that of all housing authority CEOs in Texas, as well as those of some of the nation’s largest housing authorities.

Executive bonuses at the county agency ranged up to $84,000, sometimes approaching and, in one case, exceeding an employee’s annual salary. Most lower-level workers also consistently got bonuses, from $1,000 to more than $10,000.

Why should anyone be surprised that when there is big government, unaccountable quasi-governmental bureaucrats want (and usually take) their turn at the trough too? It doesn’t much matter whether the program in question is aimed at helping the poor, or the elderly, the children, or whatever group.

Stories like this one (and the upcoming federal grant for METRO to continue building its trams and cutting bus service) suggest that the D.C. conversation about federal budget “cutting” is really more political theater for those not paying much attention than anything.

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