District of Maple Ridge salaries climb $1.5 million
Maple Ridge spent another $1.5 million on salaries in 2011 compared to the year before, equalling a 5.5-per-cent increase, according to financial statements released this month.
The district’s total wage tab for salaries rang in at $30,025,331, says the report in the June 18 committee of the whole agenda.
Most of that increase went to staff making more than $75,000.
The bill for employees in the upper income bracket jumped by a total of $1.4 million over that period, while the increase for employees making below that was $125,371.
About half of the increase in the upper income bracket was for firefighter salaries as a result of Maple Ridge completing its plan of moving to a hybrid fire department, which includes both full-time and paid-on-call firefighters, financial general manager Paul Gill pointed out.
The statement also shows 40 of the 115 employees who make more than $75,000 a year are firefighters.
Gill pointed out that salaries vary yearly according to the number of pay periods and amount of time staff are paid out for unused vacation.
Non-union or exempt staff have not had a pay increase in more than a year, he pointed out.
The Top 10 wage earners in the District of Maple Ridge in 2011:
• Jim Rule, chief administrative officer – $246,488;
• Frank Quinn, GM public works – $200,374;
• Paul Gill, GM, corporate and financial services – $193,544;
• John Leeburn, exec. director to CAO –$163,731;
• Andrew Wood, municipal engineer – $161,106;
• Kelly Swift, GM, parks and recreation – $154,999;
• Dane Spence, fire chief – $150,298;
• Peter Grootendorst, fire chief – $148,166;
• Jane Pickering, planning director – $144,975;
• Elizabeth Holitzki, bylaws director –$143,307.
Both Pickering and Wood have since left the district and are working at other municipalities.
Compared to their full-time, unelected counterparts, Maple Ridge councillors toiled for a fraction of the salaries.
Ernie Daykin earned $99,615 in his full-time position as mayor, while councillors earned between $40,000 and $43,000 each for their part-time duties. Those salaries remain frozen for the rest of council’s term. The politicians are also to vote at their June 26 meeting on sending a resolution to Union of B.C. Municipalities that would ask the new municipal auditor general to find a method of setting local council salaries.
While salaries are up, the district’s net financial assets are listed at $22 million, up by $6 million from the year before, although that number can also vary based on the cash on hand at any particular time.