By JOSEPH SPECTOR, Albany Bureau Chief
ALBANY -- Ramapo Police Chief Peter Brower was the highest paid local employee in New York in the last fiscal year, earning $321,719, a report Tuesday found.
The salary for the Rockland County police chief far exceeded the second highest paid employee in the list -- Clarkstown Police Capt. Anthony Ovchinnikoff, who earned $270,824, according to the review of payroll records in the 2011-12 fiscal year by the fiscally conservative Empire Center For New York State Policy.
Clarkstown, in Westchester County, had the highest average salary of any local agency. It's 163 police and fire employees had an average pay of $179,689.
"Local government is a labor-intensive business, and employee compensation is the single biggest element of most municipal budgets," the report said.
The payroll data from the state's Comptroller's Office included all full-time and part-time workers in the state's pension system from April 1, 2011, through March 31, 2012.
Westchester, which as a high cost of living, led the state in salaries for city employees. Yonkers, which has warned it could face bankruptcy, had the highest average salary among cities: an average of $69,355 for its 926 employees.
Westchester County had the highest average salary among county governments: an average of $75,920 for its 4,925 employees.
The city of Rochester's average salary for its 1,579 employees was $50,169. The average was $53,408 for the roughly 200 employees in Poughkeepsie.
The average salary for city employees in the Southern Tier, a total of 1,042 employees, was $39,827.
The average salary statewide for city employees was $45,391, up 1 percent from the prior fiscal year. The average was $47,797 for county employees, up 3 percent from the prior year.
To view the report visit, http://www.empirecenter.org/Special-Reports/2012/10/munipay101612.cfm