News Column

Martinez Trims Pay for Cabinet Secretaries

January 7, 2011

Kate Nash

Gov. Susana Martinez said Wednesday that all members of her Cabinet will earn less than their predecessors, but in some cases the pay difference isn't much.

Human Services Department Secretary-designate Sidonie Squier will earn $117,000 a year if confirmed by the state Senate. Former Gov. Bill Richardson's human services secretary, Katie Falls, earned $117,277.

Michael Duvall, Martinez's choice for Homeland Security, will earn $103,000, just under the $105,000 his predecessor was paid.

Other appointees agreed to substantially less pay than the person before them. Jose Garcia, selected to head the Higher Education Department, will earn $125,000. Vi Florez, who held that job under Richardson, received $173,859.

Garcia's salary of $125,000 will be the most earned by a Cabinet secretary, Martinez's office said, pointing out that secretaries under Richardson were paid as much as $188,158.

Overall, Martinez has said she will cut the cumulative salaries for her administration by at least 10 percent.

"Families and small businesses across New Mexico are being forced to balance their budgets and cut back on their spending," Martinez said in a statement. "It's time for government to do the same and my Cabinet will be leading by example."

Here's a look at the Cabinet nominees and what they will earn, along with the immediate predecessor's salary in parentheses:

--Rick May, Department of Finance and Administration, $125,000 ($130,000). May, 56, has worked as the manager of government relations at Sandia National Laboratories and as the staff director for the Budget Committee of the U.S. House. --Jon Barela, Economic Development Department, $122,500 ($133,280). Barela is a 50-year-old former director of the Civil Division at the state Attorney General's Office. He's also a former community and government-affairs manager at Intel. --Gordon Eden Jr., Department of Public Safety, $115,000 ($122,189). A former U.S. marshal for the District of New Mexico, Eden, 56, has more than 30 years of experience in private and public-sector organizations. --Michael Duvall, Homeland Security, $103,000 ($105,000). The 48-year-old Duvall is former commander of the 377th Air Base Wing at Kirtland Air Force Base, and former director of exercises and training for the U.S. Pacific Command and commander of the 4th Operations Group at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. --Edwin Burckle, General Services Department, $105,000 ($109,531). While in the U.S. Air Force, Burckle, 58, commanded three military acquisition units. He also oversaw a company that provided facility maintenance and construction services at Los Alamos National Laboratory. --Hanna Skandera, Public Education Department, $125,000, ($155,000). The 37-year-old Skandera was Florida's deputy commissioner of education under former Gov. Jeb Bush. She has also served as an undersecretary of education for California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and as the deputy chief of staff and senior policy adviser in the U.S. Department of Education. --Sidonie Squier, Human Services, $117,000 ($117,277). Squier from 2005 to 2009 served as the director of the Office of Family Assistance at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Now 53, she also served as an associate commissioner in the Office of Family Services with the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. --Jose Garcia, Higher Education, $125,000 ($173,859). Garcia, 65, has been a professor at New Mexico State University since 1975. From 1991 to 2003, he was the director of the NMSU Center for Latin American and Border Studies. --Lupe Martinez, Corrections, $106,000 ($111,745). Martinez, 49, most recently was the warden at the Western New Mexico Correctional Facility in Grants. --Demesia Padilla, Taxation and Revenue, $105,000 ($108,998). A licensed certified public accountant in New Mexico and Nevada, who owns a tax-preparation and consulting business, Padilla, 50, chairs the Bernalillo County Audit Committee. --Yolanda Berumen-Deines, Children, Youth and Families, $105,000 ($109,000). Berumen-Deines, 61, is a licensed clinical social worker who runs a full-time clinical social-work practice with her husband. She has served in a number of positions within the Texas Department of Human Services. --Veronica Gonzales, Cultural Affairs, $106,000 ($115,907). Gonzales, 48, most recently was a project director the with Tides Center managing W.K. Kellogg grant initiatives for early childhood education programs in New Mexico. She is a former executive director of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium. --Celina Bussey, Workforce Solutions, $95,000 ($105,000). Bussey, 32, most recently was the executive director of Northern New Mexico Independent Electrical Contractors Inc. She previously served as the director of apprenticeship for the Labor and Industrial Division in the New Mexico Department of Labor.

Source: Copyright (c) 2011, The Santa Fe New Mexican

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