Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Great Salt Lake Council Boy Scout Leader Paul Moore Gets A Whopping $214,000 Per Year
Paul Moore (pictured at left), the leader of the Great Salt Lake Council of the Boy Scouts of America, gets $214,000 per year in pay and benefits - and is not personally ashamed of it, although he is concerned about the impact upon the organization's image. Full story published November 12th, 2007 in the Salt Lake Tribune. Additional story published by the Deseret News.
And Moore defended it to the Tribune. "I know people may drop their toast in their cereal when they read that", Paul Moore said. "But I'm not embarrassed by my compensation. I've worked very hard and been very successful in this business. This is a life's work for me that has purchased 60 to 80 hours [a week] of my time for all of my working life".
And it's not just the big boss who knows where his next meal's coming from. The Deseret Morning News, citing public tax filings and interviews, found the Great Salt Lake Council had 23 other executives making more than $50,000 in 2005, tied for No. 2 with the National Capitol Area Council around Washington, D.C.
Scout leaders said their salaries are higher because their organizations are larger and their jobs require longer hours and more skills. Thomas Powell is another one of them, and he said, "When people asked what I do, I said name any 10 careers and a Scout executive touches them. It includes being an educator, human-relations director, salesman, promoter, organizer, disciplinarian - and sometimes a security guard, a plumber, a custodian or a garbage man if that is what the job requires".
Paul Moore also pointed out that so many are well paid in his council because many have long tenure. The starting salary nationally for new, entry-level Scout executives is $36,700, and the post requires a bachelor's degree. Moore says considering that starting point, "you see that anybody who has been with the organization 10 years or so are going to be up there."
He added, "We have people of long tenure. And our typical district executive serves 200 to 300 units, and 3,000 to 5,000 youth members in our program. The national numbers for that are about 1,500 youths and 100 or fewer units."
The compensation is not totally indefensible, however. Because of the predominance of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the area, as well as the fact that the Boy Scouts is the official youth program for boys used by the Church, the Orem, Great Salt Lake and Ogden councils are ranked in the top five in the number of boys enrolled in Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Varsity and Venturing programs, despite the comparative smaller size of the overall metropolitan area. As a matter of fact, with 70,000 Scouts enrolled, the Great Salt Lake Council is the largest council in the nation.
In contrast, Elaine Gause, chief executive of the Utah Girl Scouts, only received $100,692 in compensation in 2005, the Deseret Morning News reported Sunday. But the LDS Church doesn't use the Girl Scouts as the official youth program for girls, and so there are fewer Girl Scouts.
However, as the interview progressed, Moore showed greater concern about the effect public disclosure of this compensation might have on the organization. Wiping away tears during an interview, Moore was worried that public disclosure of compensation could hurt fundraising efforts and other activities.
Scouting "is a treasured part of this community, and I would hate to think that my compensation damages in any way our ability to make a difference in kids' lives", he said. "But I realize this is part of what goes with the territory".
Compensation of non-profit executives, never really an issue, suddenly exploded when it was disclosed that the head of the San Diego chapter of the American Red Cross had earned over $300,000 in 2001.
In September 2006, Philanthropy.com reported that the median compensation for chief executives was $327,575, based on information from 241 organizations that provided data for both years. In 2004, the median salary was $316,058. The median increase of 4.8 percent in 2005 outstripped the inflation rate of 3.4 percent.
Commentary: This story seems to have opened up a hornet's nest. As of this post, 412 comments have been posted to the Deseret News story. At least two-thirds of them are critical of Moore, and at least half the commenters plan on discontinuing contributions to Friends of Scouting (FOS). Many commenters also recommend the LDS Church reconsider its relationship with the Boy Scouts of America and form its own program.
On the other hand, Moore's salary is considerably less than the median for all non-profit executives. And the fact that Moore is putting in 60 hour work weeks tell me this is a real job he's doing.
In a way, it's sad that this has become a controversy at a time when the Boy Scouts are under attack from so many sources. The gay rights lobby has been at war with the Scouts for 20 years because the Scouts courageously refuse to allow practicing homosexuals to participate. Just recently, Philadelphia decided to suddenly charge their Boy Scouts $200,000 per year for use of municipal facilities because Philadelphia didn't want to "subsidize" discrimination. And unfortunately, the Cradle of Liberty Council caved and inserted "sexual orientation" into their non-discrimination clause.
In any event, Paul Moore has got some real damage control to do in the coming weeks. He'll really be earning that $214,000 now.