The salaries and benefits of leadership at city of Apache Junction, fire district

The Apache Junction/Gold Canyon Independent on May 24 requested that the city of Apache Junction and the Superstition Fire and Medical District provide the total salaries for its department heads and the amounts for benefits.

The fire district e-mailed the information. The city of Apache Junction required a Freedom of Information Act request, which was e-mailed on June 13. The information was provided July 19 on 14 sheets of paper and cost $3.50.

There are three department heads for the fire district, SFMD Assistant Chief/Fire Marshal Richard Ochs said in an e-mail.

“You will notice a significant difference in benefits cost for one of the assistant chiefs. This is because our fire chief and one assistant chief are already enrolled in the PSPRS,” he said of the Public Safety Personnel Retirement System.

“The organization no longer contributes to this benefit for these two individuals. The organization is still contributing PSPRS benefits for the second assistant chief,” he said.

The fire district leaders’ names, titles, gross wages (including salary, educational incentive and cell phone allowance) and the additional total amounts for retirement and other benefits are:

  • Fire Chief Mike Farber, $150,819.23; $10,140 for benefits.
  • Assistant Chief Richard Ochs, $125,411.92; $10,140 for benefits.
  • Assistant Chief Richard Mooney, $125,411.92; $35,579.36 for Public Safety Personnel Retirement System; $10,140 for benefits.

The city manager and 12 department heads, called directors in the city of Apache Junction, were listed in the information provided by Apache Junction City Clerk Kathy Connelly. Their names, titles, employer money (and total amount of money to benefits) paid July 1, 2017-June 30, 2018, for the Arizona State Retirement Systems retirement pension, were:

  • City Manager Bryant Powell, $153,750; and ASRS employer money of $18,261.51 (total of $36,391.19).
  • City Clerk Kathy Connelly, $133,250.21; and ASRS employer money of $15,096.50 (total of $21,066.98).
  • Economic Development Director Janine Hanna Solley, $109,364.74; and ASRS employer money of $12,390.36 (total, $18,303.93).
  • City Magistrate James W. Hazel Jr., $131,000; and ASRS employer money of $17,007.12 (total of $17,388.39).
  • Chief of Police Thomas E. Kelly, $136,500.21, and ASRS employer money of $15,464.58 (total of $21,449.37).
  • Development Services Director Larry Kirch, $117,773.76, and ASRS employer money of $13,438.17 (total of $14,378.40).
  • Parks and Recreation Director Liz Langenbach, $106,697.34; and ASRS employer money of $12,183.31 (total of $18,090.97).
  • Finance Director Donna M. Meinerts, $126,829.46; and ASRS employer money of $14,464.21 (total of $23,571.89).
  • Library Director Spencer R. Paden, $114,901.28; and ASRS employer money of $13,112.84 (total of $19,041.88).
  • Human Resources Director Liz Riley, $133,250.21; and ASRS employer money of $15,191.67 (total of $21,163.47).
  • Information Technology Director Earl Simmers, $133,250.21; and ASRS employer money of $15,191.67 (total of $15,970.35).
  • City Attorney Richard Joel Stern, $144,627.39; and ASRS employer money of $25,034.88 (total of $68,277.95).
  • Public Works Director Mike Wever, $117,773,76; and ASRS employer money of $12,841.75 (total of $22,396.20).

Editor Richard Dyer can be reached at

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