The Regional District of Central Kootenay’s annual statement of financial information (SOFI) for 2019 shows the number of high-earning employees remained steady over previous years, but elected officials collected an extra $177,000.
In 2019, the RDCK paid salaries of more than $100,000 to 10 of its senior staff members (compared with 11 the previous year and 10 in 2017), and $969,798 in salaries and expenses to its elected directors, compared with $792,225 in 2018. Part of that increase was to compensate for the removal of a 30 per cent federal tax exemption for members of municipal and regional councils.
It also paid $55,124 in severance payments to two employees, who were not named.
Those are some examples of the information contained in the SOFI report. All municipalities, regional districts, and other public bodies are required by provincial law to publish this report annually.
The report, which is attached to the online version of this story at nelsonstar.com, includes a list of director and staff salaries, a list of all payments made for goods and services over $25,000, a list of grants to groups and municipalities, an outline of the cost of employee benefits, and a schedule of debenture debt. The report and the RDCK’s 2019 annual financial statements are attached below.
The report also contains a full list of about 135 vendors from whom the RDCK made purchases over $25,000. Fourteen of them were each paid more than $500,000.
Grants over $25,000 from the regional district to 52 organizations and municipalities are also listed.
The 11 rural directors each earned a base allowance of $39,720 while the nine municipal directors each received $15,408 in addition to the salary they earn from sitting on their respective councils.
Directors receive additional pay for attending board meetings and rural affairs committee meetings and are reimbursed for expenses while travelling on regional district business, including accommodation, mileage at 58 cents per kilometre, and up to $75 per day for meals, although they don’t always claim the full amounts and not all types of travel are covered.
Board chair Aimee Watson says travel expenses will be much reduced this year because of the pandemic.
The RDCK has 320 to 360 employees, including elected officials, depending on the season, and runs 180 services.
The highest paid employees in 2019 were Stuart Horn in the dual role as chief administrative officer and chief financial officer, who made $237,537 plus expenses; environmental services manager Ulli Wolf at $137,333 plus expenses; followed by general manager of development Sangita Sudan and general manager of community services Joe Chirico, who both earned $131,749 plus expenses.
The total payroll for all employees in 2019 was $14,495,409, compared with 2018’s total of $13,537,489.
The RDCK spent about 35 per cent of its operating budget on salaries, about the same as the previous year.
The SOFI report and the RDCK’s 2019 financial statements are both attached below.