Outrage over high salaries of 9/11 Memorial staff amidst budget overruns

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Update April 21. 2013- CBS’ 60 Minutes featured a first look at the 9/11 Museum (not the Memorial above ground), but made no reference at all to the disgrace that has taken place on hallowed ground. CBS interviewed Alice Greenwald and President Joe Daniels. Both are earning nearly $400,000 in salary as the entire project is massively over budget. Instead of criminal investigation, they received a puff piece on 60 minutes. For the full story, see below….

September 8, 2012

The disgrace over the hallowed ground of Ground Zero continues. The New York Times is reporting that the City and State are squabbling over who will pay for cost overruns of the 9/11 Memorial, creating a stalled project with no opening in sight.

January 30, 2012

Construction of the September 11th Memorial has screeched to a halt as the numerous different state, federal, and city bureaucracies fight over the tab of the cost overruns. After rushing out a partially constructed memorial to avoid embarrassment on the tenth anniversary, not much progress has been made since.

Amidst this, we get a better sense today of the bloated number of bureaucrats on the September 11th Memorial and Museum staff leading the construction while they also reap huge financial rewards personally. The WSJ is reporting that top executives of the September 11 memorial have been receiving nearly $500,000 salaries. Relatives of those killed on 9/11 are outraged.

According to the WSJ, “Joan Gerner received $296,565 upon leaving her position as executive vice president of design and construction in May 2010, bringing her total compensation that year to $439,463, recently released tax records show. She was the group’s highest-compensated employee that year….. In 2010, seven other executives with the organization received compensation in excess of $200,000, records show, and four received compensation packages of more than $300,000, including the president, Joseph Daniels, who earned $378,288 in salary and other benefits…. Retired FDNY Deputy Chief Jim Riches, whose son, Jimmy, also a firefighter, died in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, called the foundation executives’ salaries, and specifically Ms. Gerner’s severance payment, “totally obscene” and an “insult” to victims and their families. “They shouldn’t be having contracts like they’re professional athletes—it’s totally disgusting,” Mr. Riches said. “It’s a shame, and they have no shame.””

According to the WSJ, Mayor Bloomberg has been supportive of the high pay and large staff. “But Mr. Bloomberg has long defended the executive compensation at the memorial and other such organizations. Julie Wood, a spokeswoman for Mr. Bloomberg, said the mayor believes the “professionals at the 9/11 memorial are paid only a fraction of what they’re worth, but at a level similar to people at comparable nonprofits.””

From Wall Street Journal

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2 Responses to Outrage over high salaries of 9/11 Memorial staff amidst budget overruns

  1. jamie smith says:

    Memorial should be managed by national parks.with public paying small fee cops fire military free of charge.these bloated salaries are another political patronage employment job.its an absolute disgrace.

  2. Bruce Weiser says:

    This is criminal, I can maybe see the architect and construction manager but $ 356,000 for a program director 3 years before the museum opens. This museum is not a tribute to those who have fallen, but an insult. How is it possible that the families did not have the final say about the unidentified remains. Who’s opinion is more important than theirs?

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