June 20, 2016 - 1:00 PM
NORTH OKANAGAN - Roughly half of the North Okanagan Regional District’s $5.9 million payroll went to 31 managers and top staff last year.
Regional District chair Rick Fairbairn says that’s similar to other jurisdictions and doesn’t feel too much money is being spent on senior staff.
“You have to pay that kind of remuneration to get that quality of people,” he says.
Mandatory financial reporting requires the regional district to list names, wages and expenses for any employees who earn more than $75,000, which was 31 people in 2015. Together, those department managers and general managers took home roughly $3.1 million. Leading the pack were chief administrative officer David Sewell with roughly $166,700 in remuneration and just over $18,000 in expenses, followed by the planning and building general manager Rob Smailes, with around $126,000 in remuneration and almost $5,000 in expenses.
An undisclosed number of employees who earned less than $75,000 brought home a total of $2.9 million, putting the overall payroll at $5.9. Staff also claimed an additional $462,100 in expenses.
The regional districts 25 directors and alternate directors were paid around $262,600 plus about $44,600 in expense reimbursements.
Expenses are mostly for travel and accommodation associated with attending conferences such as the Union of B.C. Municipalities conference and the Southern Interior Local Goverment Association, Fairbairn says.
Fairbairn received the highest wage, at slightly over $42,000, plus nearly $14,000 in expenses. The next highest were directors Mike Macnabb and Bob Fleming with roughly $24,000 in remuneration and between $3,500 and $4,500 in expenses.
“I think the financial people have done an excellent job to look after the taxpayers’ dollars when it comes to remuneration,” Fairbairn says.
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