The City of Campbell River paid out $17.49 million combined to its employees and city council last year, according to the city’s 2016 Statement of Financial Information. That’s $270,000 less than last year. However, with wages and benefits added, last year’s payroll jumps to $21.09 million which is $1.29 million more than what the city paid out in 2015 once benefits are factored in.
As mayor, Andy Adams was the top earner on council last year, bringing in $62,551 in remuneration and accumulating $17,485 in expenses. Councillors Michele Babchuk, Charlie Cornfield, Colleen Evans, Ron Kerr, Larry Samson and Marlene Wright all earned $22,959 in 2016 which was a slight decrease from the $23,498 councillors made in 2015. Adams earned $64,391 the year prior.
Myriah Foort, the city’s finance manager, said wages appear to be down in 2016 over the prior year because 2015 had an extra pay period – 27 pay periods instead of the standard 26.
“This occurs approximately every 11 years on a bi-weekly pay cycle,” Foort said. “Therefore, this is why payroll was down as compared to 2015, as 2015 was an unusual year.”
That extended to staff at City Hall who also all made less than in 2015. Staff combined to make $8.96 million in wages in 2016 with the top earner being City Manager Deborah Sargent, who earned $182,450 in 2016. After Sargent, the highest paid employees in 2016 were: Ron Neufeld, deputy city manager, who earned $154,781 in remuneration, Dave Morris, general manager of facilities and supply management, at $151,070, Ron Bowles, general manager of corporate services, who earned $133,137 and Ross Milnthorp, the city’s former general manager of parks, recreation and culture, who garnered $130,219 in remuneration.
Rounding out the list of top-paid City Hall workers are: Capital Works Manager Jason Hartley ($124,283), Information Technology Manager Warren Kalyn ($113,150), Transportation Manager Drew Hadfield ($113,090), City Clerk Peter Wipper ($112,711), Recreation and Culture Manager Lynn Wark ($110,001) and Finance Manager Myriah Foort ($106,819).
A total of 64 other city employees also made more than $75,000 last year, including the city’s firefighters who were among some of the city’s highest earners.
Topping the list of top paid firefighters in 2016 were: Fire Chief Ian Baikie, who earned $144,410 in remuneration, Fire Captain Reid Wharton who earned $134,772, Fire Captain John Baker at $129,805, Deputy Fire Chief Thomas Doherty, who made $129,450, former Deputy Fire Chief Chris Vrabel, who earned $128,917, Fire Captain Ken Dawson, at $128,674 and Fire Captain John Vaton, who earned $122,076 in remuneration.
The city also paid $8.33 million to employees who made less than $75,000 in remuneration though the names of those employees are not publicly released.