Campbell River pays out $14.5 million in wages

City Manager Andy Laidlaw grossed the highest pay at $178,110

The city shelled out $14.5 million in wages to council and city staff in 2012.

All councillors received $21,721 in remuneration last year while Mayor Walter Jakeway received $61,691.

Predictably, the highest earners were senior managers.

City Manager Andy Laidlaw grossed the highest pay at $178,110 – an increase over his $146,346 annual salary in 2011.

Dave Morris, general manager of facilities and supplies, was the second highest earner at $126,716, followed by Ron Neufeld, general manager of operations, who made $125,738 last year.

Laura Ciarniello, general manager of corporate services, at a yearly salary of $119,463, Ross Blackwell, land use manager, at $113,222 per year, Ross Milnthorp, general manager of parks, recreation and facilities ($108,310) and Jason Hartley, the capital works manager, with a salary of $105,703, rounded out the list of top earners.

In addition, the city handed out some expensive pay cheques to employees outside of city hall.

Fire Chief Ian Baikie, working as a deputy fire chief last year, made $111,467 while current Deputy Fire Chief Chris Vrabel made $102,954.

Fire captain Ken Dawson made $106,525, captain John Baker made $103,430 and fire captains Reid Wharton and John Vaton made $102,875 and $98,853 respectively.

Other firefighters made the following annual salaries in 2012: Kelly Bellefleur ($91,107), Mark McKenzie ($89,441), Michael Dumont ($87,050), Bruce Holbrook ($86,571), Stewart Dumont ($85,834), David Lagos ($85,807), Lee Pendergast ($85,073), and Timothy Willis ($83,222).

The city’s career firefighters (including dispatch) made up roughly $4.2 million of the city’s budget in 2012, compared to Courtenay which had a $1.5 million fire budget and Port Alberni, which spent $2.7 million on fire services.

In 2012, Campbell River paid three chief officers, 20 career firefighters and 50 auxiliary firefighters while Port Alberni paid two chief officers, 20 career firefighters, and 10

auxiliary firefighters. Courtenay paid for three chief officers, zero career firefighters, and 37 auxiliary firefighters.

Courtenay is able to run a mostly volunteer fire department, with a mix of full-time paid and on-call auxiliary staff because of its close proximity to the municipalities of Comox and Cumberland, which can share and partner in specialized rescue operations. Courtenay can also call on the services of nearby Canadian Forces 19 Wing.

Other top city hall salaries include: Warren Kalyn (information services manager, $102,435), Drew Hadfield (transportation manager, $101,755), Jennifer Peters (utilities manager, $101,275), Natalie Aalderink (financial services manager, $100,465), Amber Zirnhelt (sustainability manager, $97,601), Peter Wipper (city clerk, $96,079), and Michele Sirett (recreation and culture supervisor, $91,063).

In total the city had 54 employees make more than $75,000 last year. The city also spent a further $9.3 million on employees who made $75,000 or less.