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Rock Island Fire Chief Jeff Yerkey. 

ROCK ISLAND — The five highest-paid employees of the city will make $714,231 in combined salaries and benefits in 2019.

According to city records, the highest-paid employee is City Manager Randy Tweet, who earns a base salary of $143,829. Tweet also receives $15,377 in employer health insurance, $4,800 for vehicle allowance, and 257 hours of paid vacation and sick leave.

The second-highest-paid employee is Police Chief Jeff VenHuizen, who earns a base salary of $128,154, employer health insurance of $15,377, and 257 hours of paid vacation and sick leave.

Public Works Director Larry Cook brings in a base salary of $120,346. He also receives $15,377 in employer health insurance, $4,800 for vehicle allowance, and 257 hours of paid vacation and sick leave.

The fourth-highest-paid city employee is Information Technology Director Timothy Bain, who earns a base salary of $113,871. Bain also receives $15,377 in employer health insurance, $4,800 for vehicle allowance, and 257 hours of paid vacation and sick leave.

Rounding out the top five is Fire Chief Jeff Yerkey, who gets a base salary of $119,853, $11,023 in employer health insurance, and 257 hours of paid vacation and sick leave.

Other top earners are Human Resources Director John Thorson, with a salary of $123,409, and Martin Luther King Center Director Gerald Jones, who earns a salary of $105,439. 

Thorson does not receive any health insurance benefits from the city, but he receives $4,800 for vehicle allowance and 257 hours of paid vacation and sick leave. Jones receives $15,377 in employer health insurance, $4,800 for vehicle allowance, and 265 hours of paid vacation and sick leave

The wide variance in benefits generally can be attributed to a difference in health-insurance costs. Employees who have lower benefits often are on a spouse's insurance plan.

Finance Director Stephanie Masson said the 2019 fiscal year general fund budget included total spending of $36,371,313 and revenues of $35,599,701.

"The proposed budget anticipated (fiscal year) 2018 ending with a surplus, and therefore using reserves within the general fund to cover the deficit of $771,612," Masson said. "City year 2018 did indeed end with a general fund surplus. The surplus was $1.2 million, and the general fund's unassigned fund balance was $9,491,653.

"This fund balance represented reserves of 26% — or 95 days — which is in accordance with the city's financial policies and reflects stable finances," Masson said. "I would say the city of Rock Island's financial status is stable."

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