Back in July the 2011 Annual Report on Public Authorities in New York State was released with Public Authority Staffing Information for the year ending 2010. It showed that the Long Island Power Authority had the highest average salary in NY for all authorities with greater than 100 employees at $108,234. This is 66% higher than the $65,016 average salary for all state authorities, and 24% higher than the $87 average for the New York Power Authority.
Why is LIPA’s average salary so significantly higher then all other state authorities? The short answer is that LIPA’’s organizational structure is significantly more top-heavy than any other state authority. LIPA has 107 positions for which 71 have titles of Manager, Director or higher, accounting for 66% of its total staff.
Even though some high level positions might be required to manage National Grid, there is serious question why the ratepayer should be on the hook for basically the same positions at both LIPA and National Grid. This duplication adds approximately $9 million annually to the customer’s already high bill .
The inefficiency and financial burden of this type of management style must be taken into account in the LIPA decision on restructuring expected soon. Of the options being considered, the SERVCO model, which is very close to how LIPA now operates, would retain the overlapping and duplicative management currently practiced. On the other hand, the LIPA Board of Trustees should take particular note that the full municiplization option does not come with this additional organizational cost.