ATLANTA --- Atlanta Housing Authority director Renee Glover's 2010 compensation of over a half-million dollars has drawn the attention of the Obama administration, where there is discussion of a salary cap for housing officials across the country.
Glover's base salary was $312,000 in 2010, but her compensation swelled to $588,850 when she received additional pay for incentives and unused vacation and sick time.
Glover was hired as CEO of the Atlanta Housing Authority in 1994. At the time, her yearly base salary was $155,000.
In 2010, the Housing Authority board approved a five year contract to pay Glover $325,000 a year.
According to her bio, Glover "has been nationally recognized for her role in transforming U.S. urban policy." She helped usher the Atlanta Housing Authority off of the government's "Troubled Agency" list.
The agency's spokesperson says Glover took the authority from a "public liability to a public asset."
Her pay, however, is one of the reasons the Obama administration is looking at placing a cap on the amount of federal dollars used to pay local housing officials. According to the Associated Press, two senior administration officials have said the cap set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will be $155,000 a year.
The AP report says the Obama administration has also expressed concerns over the pay of housing officials in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Chelsea, Massachusetts.
Glover and other local housing officials are paid with federal grants and money generated by the operation of the housing authority.
In a statement, Glover defended her pay.
"My compensation package has been approved in public meetings by independent boards of commissioners," Glover said in a written statement. "My contract has been publicly reviewed and pondered. I am confident my professional record speaks for itself."
Glover's contract drew the attention of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, who expressed his displeasure. Atlanta's mayor appoints members to the Housing Authority Board, who agreed to the five year contract.
According to Reed spokesperson Sonji Jacobs, none of Reed's cabinet or senior staff is under contract.
"A contract ties the cities hands," said Jacobs. "If someone is not performing it's hard to end the agreement."
Mayor Reed made sweeping changes to the Housing Authority Board after members voted to offer Glover her multi-year contract.
Jacobs said the Mayor would support a cap on the pay of housing officials.
"When so many Atlantans are struggling you want to make sure public officials are working hard, but that their salaries aren't excessive," said Jacobs.
Atlanta Housing Authority spokesperson Rick White says Glover has overseen a $1.67 billion economic benefit for the city, and that the AHA's assets are valued at nearly $300 million.
"The CEO's salary, regardless of who is sitting in the position, should be benchmarked against other real estate concerns of similar scope and scale."