First in a series about the salaries of public officials. Today’s focus is on the Detroit Land Bank Authority.
The Detroit Land Bank Authority is playing a larger role than ever in fighting blight, and that means more employees and bigger salaries.
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The public entity recently added its ninth employee receiving a six-figure salary – Craig Fahle, the former host of WDET’s Craig Fahle Show, who now makes $120,000 a year.
According to records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, the Motor City Muckraker has learned:
- One of the highest-paid employees, Carrie Lewand-Monroe, is the daughter of Tom Lewand, former chairman of the Michigan Democratic Party and Mayor Mike Duggan’s current group executive for jobs and economic growth. Lewand-Monroe is a senior advisor for the Land Bank, earning $135,000. She’s an attorney and previously served as executive director of the state’s Land Bank Fast Track Authority.
- Some are former Detroit City Council staffers, including senior Land Bank attorney Marcel Hurt, who is paid $100,000 a year. Hurt served as chief of staff for former council President Saunteel Jenkins.
- Another former council staffer is Rodney Liggons, who now manages policy and community engagement for the Land Bank for $53,000 a year. He worked for Detroit Councilman James Tate.
- The highest-paid employees earn $140,000 a year. One of them is Land Bank Executive Director Richard Wiener, who served as chief of staff for former Gov. Jennifer Granholm. The other is the Land Bank’s general counsel, Kevin Simowski, who is eligible for lifetime benefits after working at the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office.
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- The Land Bank has 56 full-time employees, 34-part-timers and eight interns.
The political appointments aren’t unusual, especially since public sector experience is often a big advantage.
Fahle said the employees are vastly qualified and passionate about Detroit’s future.
“This is a great, high-caliber team,” Fahle told me. “Everyone is incredibly motivated.”
The Land Bank was created in 2008 but operated with minimal authority until recently.
The scope of work has increased dramatically as Mayor Mike Duggan embarks on an unprecedented assault on blight and abandonment, which are eroding the city’s neighborhoods. The public entity is tasked with overseeing the demolition of blighted houses and buildings and running a widely successful auction to put abandoned homes into the hands of new owners. The Land Bank also plans to seize drug houses and chronically blighted property.
“It’s a monumental task,” Fahle said. “We have a remarkably lean organization for what we are doing.”
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The Land Bank sold more than 125 houses in auctions since May 5, collecting in excess of $2 million in sales. The homes ranged in price from $1,000 to $97,900.
To see a full list of the Land Bank’s responsibility, click here.
|Last Name||First Name||Title||Salary|
|Story-Stewart||Michelle||Chief Financial Officer||130,000.00|
|Brady||Michael||Director, Policy & Communications Engagement||118,000.00|
|Linthorst-Homan||Kim||Deputy General Counsel||105,000.00|
|Hurt||Marcel||Senoir Staff Attorney||100,000.00|
|Cannon, Jr.||Richard||Property Disposition Manager||90,000.00|
|Delgado||Martha||Senior Project Manager||85,000.00|
|Vosburg||Brian||Property Disposition Manager||80,000.00|
|Saxon, Jr.||Robert||Chief Architect & Sr. Construction Manager||70,000.00|
|Holman||Gregory||Data & Asset Management Specialist||68,000.00|
|Richardson||Ericka||Nuisance Abatement Program Coordinator||66,000.00|
|Earl||Darryl||Property Disposition Specialist||63,000.00|
|Linn||Robert||Senior Property Analyst||62,000.00|
|Baumeister||Mary||Property Disposition Specialist||60,000.00|
|Jamison||Ebony||Closing & Title Manager||55,000.00|
|Shelton||Kevin||Junior Data Manager||54,000.00|
|Liggons||Rodney||Policy & Community Engagement||53,000.00|
|Brown||David||Property Disposition Specialist||52,500.00|
|Dean||Charity||Policy & Community Engagement||50,000.00|
|Jackson||Gina||Property Disposition Specialist||50,000.00|
|Thomas||Cynthia||Human Resources Manager||45,000.00|
|Carlson||Sarah||Disposition Data Specialist||40,000.00|
Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.