City payroll rises by $1 million in 2010
After several years of large increases in employee salaries, the wallets at city hall appear to be tightening.
According to the 2010 remuneration and expense report, there were 33 employees earning a salary more than $100,000, compared to 49 the previous year.
Employees earning more than $75,000 annually collected $15.2 million last year, a slight decrease from $16 million in 2009.
The overall payroll for the city hit $47 million, just slightly more than $46 million in 2009.
That’s in stark contrast to previous years, which saw large increases in employee salaries.
The overall city payroll jumped by more than $4 million between 2008 and 2009, with employees earning more than $75,000 a year collecting $9.5 million in 2008.
The penny-pinching also made its way to the top directors.
Three of the five highest-grossing employees at the city saw their overall salaries drop.
For example, director of public works and sustainability David Duckworth, who is No. 2 on the payroll, collected $148,548 in 2010 compared to $151,346 the previous year.
His salary jumped by $20,000 between 2007 and 2009.
Director of finance and I.T. Sally Edwards’ salary declined to $142,948 in 2010 from $145,590 in 2009.
Her salary also increased by nearly $21,000 between 2007 and 2009.
Director of development and engineering services David Trawin earned $143,092 last year, compared to $146,848 in 2009.
Byron McCorkell, the third-highest paid city employee, drew nearly even, at $148,508.
Though there are several factors for the slight drop in top salaries, CAO Randy Diehl said the city’s administration has been more mindful of expenditures.
“I think we’re pretty aware there’s an ongoing concern how we spend money,” he told KTW.
Diehl, the highest-paid public servant at city hall, collected $195,942 last year, which was almost on par with his $196,016 salary in 2009.
However, in the two previous years, the CAO had his salary increase by nearly $30,000.
Diehl explained the base salaries for directors hasn’t dropped, but the difference could be accounted for by a change in holiday time or car leases, which fluctuate from year-to-year.
Gross salaries include all taxable benefits, including MSP and life-insurance premiums, vehicle and IT allowances, vacation and taxable vehicle and parking benefits.
The CAO also noted administration has reined in expenses by limiting the amount of conferences and meetings management can attend.
Diehl said he’s content with employee salaries, noting the city strives to be somewhere in the middle of pack compared to other B.C. municipalities.
“Our goal is always — for salaries for staff and managers — is to hit the average of the average.”