Evans' Chief of Staff is highest paid

D.C. Councilmember Jack Evans' chief of staff Schanette Grant is the highest-paid of all chiefs of staff in the D.C. Council, including those of outgoing Chairman and Mayor-elect Vincent Gray and Council Chairman-elect Kwame Brown, reports City Paper's Loose Lips, Alan Suderman. Grant, who earns $132,000, is paid almost $50,000 more per year than the chief of staff of Councilmember Jim Graham (Ward 1), who makes $85,277.

Grant's salary is higher than most chiefs of staff to members of the U.S. House of Representatives -- who earn an average of $120,051 -- according to the Sunlight Foundation.  She also earns more than the average D.C. staff lawyer, who earns $114,730, according to PayScale.com. That website lists average area compensation rates as follows:

Intelligence Analyst $75,288        
Administrative Assistant $38,127  
Project Manager, Information Technology (IT) $97,572  
Attorney / Lawyer $114,730  
Executive Assistant $50,098  
Management Consultant $76,864  
Consultant, Business Process / Management $67,346

Evans said he is happy to pay for high-quality staff. "My philosophy is I don't have a whole lot of staff members. I pay them well. They do a good job and they stay with me a long time," he said. Grant has served as chief of staff for several years, and as a junior staff member prior to her current role. "If you want the quality of staff to rise, they have to stick around. If you want them to stick around, you have to pay them," he said.

Councilmembers receive a set sum each year to spend on overall personnel costs -- they decide how much to pay each employee. Below is the complete list of Council chief of staff compensation figures.

Grant, Schanette  (Jack Evans, Ward 2)                             $132,000 
Esparza, Irma (Kwame Brown, At-large)                           $127,468
Allen, Charles (Tommy Wells, Ward 6)                               $115,000
Wharton Boyd, Linda (Michael Brown, At-large)          $110,500 
Slonneger, Dawn (Vincent Gray, Chairman)                    $105,000 
Meyers, Jon  (Yvette Alexander, Ward 7)                           $104,194
Zvenyach, David (Mary Cheh, Ward 3)                                 $97,000 
Holland, Joy (Muriel Bowser, Ward 4)                                 $94,061 
Lewis, Grace (Harry Thomas Jr., Ward 5)                           $93,256 
Clements Smith, Joyce Ann (Marion Barry, Ward 8)     $90,000 
Woodland, Calvin (Jim Graham, Ward 1)                            $85,277 

Councilmember Phil Mendelson does not currently employ a chief of staff, according to Loose Lips.  Councilmember David Catania's chief of staff is on leave.

On a different D.C. salary question, Evans told WTOP recently he planned to introduce legislation to cut the salaries of D.C. government employees who don't live in the District by 10%. The measure would save the city $80 million, Evans estimated.