December 01st, 2023



      CHRIS FORD             CALVIN BURKE

      BASE SALARY            BASE SALARY

        $121,472             $104,832            

L&T staff report

After the dismissal of Mark Hall as Liberal City Manager along with his hefty contract which included a $141,950 annual salary in January, Cal Burke was promoted to interim city manager at a base salary of $104,832.
But Burke is not the highest paid city employee.
The Leader & Times has obtained the top 10 salaries of the city staff, and while Burke may be the top of the employment pyramid, his paycheck comes in as the third highest.
The top paid city employee is Finance Director Chris Ford with a base salary of $121,472. That does not include additional contributions for insurance, retirement or vehicle reimbursement fees.
Ford is nearing his 16th year of service to the City of Liberal, having started July 15, 2002.
Jason Maxwell, the municipal court judge, is the second highest paid employee, coming in at a base salary of $107,624. He was hired July 7, 2017.
Burke’s interim city manager base salary then comes in third at $104,832. Burke has been employed by the city since Nov. 3, 2013.
Economic Development Director Jeff Parsons comes in fourth on the list at a base salary of $98,904. Parsons has been the economic development director since Dec. 13, 2006.
Dennis Mulanax was appointed to be the interim police chief on Jan 8, 2018, and he earns a base salary of $95,000, making him the fifth highest paid city employee.
Police Captain Patrick McClurg comes in sixth with a base salary of $89,232. McClurg has been working for the City of Liberal for 20 years beginning Jan. 5, 1998.
Human Resources Director Sheena Schmutz come in seventh with a base salary of $87,232. Schmutz began working for the City of Liberal June 14, 2010.
City Fire Chief Kelly Kirk has been a part of the city staff since Aug. 1, 1991, and he has moved up through the ranks in those 27 years to earn a base salary of $87,984, ties for seventh with Schmutz.
Debbie Giskie is the longest serving city employee on the top 10 list, having worked for the city for 42 years starting Aug. 5, 1976. She is currently serving as the airport manager and earns a base salary of $80,704, making her the ninth highest paid city employee.
Tied for ninth and rounding out the tope 10 is Daniel Zuniga who has been employed by the city for 31 years beginning May 19, 1987. Zuniga is currently the Transit Operations Director and earns a base salary of $80,704, matching Giskie.
In total, these 10 employees earn $954,710 in annual base salary.