Payroll Project: Xenia’s highest paid employees

The city of Xenia paid 43 employees more than $100,000 last year, according to a Dayton Daily News analysis of city payroll data.

The Dayton Daily News obtained and analyzed payroll data for 29 local counties, cities, townships and other governments such as the Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority and Dayton Metro Library. The Payroll Project is an annual review of local tax-supported payrolls in the Dayton area.

Our investigation found that the coronavirus epidemic and social justice protests led to overtime that caused six-figure pay to swell in many jurisdictions as they struggle to fully staff public safety departments. Likewise Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority paid some bus drivers more than $100,000 last year with overtime, then cut routes this year because of a driver shortage. And our analysis found city of Kettering police officers and firefighters are among the highest-paid in the region and state.

The newspaper’s analysis found pay varies across the region. While Xenia had 43 people earning six-figure pay, in similarly sized Riverside, only the city manager reached that threshold. Xenia city officials responded to the newspaper’s findings in this story.

The Dayton Daily News is committed to watching your tax dollars. And employee payroll amounts to the largest expenditure of public funds among local governments.

The top paid Xenia employees in 2020 were:

1. Jeffrey Bruggeman, fire captain: $164,497

2. Brian Brennaman, fire captain: $137,452

3. Fred Barker, police officer: $134,944

4. Brent Merriman, city manager: $132,546

5. Steven Lane, police captain: $131,118

6. Christin Stutes, police captain: $125,236

7. Michael Bogan, deputy chief: $121,498

8. Donnette Fisher, law director: $119,594

9. Cory Stroup, lieutenant: $119,255

10. Thomas Norris, fire captain: $119,196

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