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Officials defend expenses

Maintaining relationships appears to be influencing spending at Enderby city hall.

The 2013 annual report has been released and it shows $77,519 went towards council remuneration and expenses.

“A lot of it is to do with our relationship with the Splatsin First Nation,” said Coun. Tundra Baird, who had $3,544 in expenses, partly because she was the city representative at First Nations conferences in Osoyoos and Chase.

“We’re leading the way as a community on how relationships (with First Nations) can work.”

Baird also went to the Union of B.C. Municipalities conference in Vancouver to meet with provincial officials about infrastructure.

“If you have that face-to-face time, you can find out things (grants) that are available and you can press issues,” she said.

“You need to have that relationship if you want projects done.”

Much of Baird’s expenses are related to mileage as she will drive other councillors to meetings. She had a salary of $9,141.

Mayor Howie Cyr had remuneration of $15,642 and expenses of $1,501 in 2013, while Coun. Brad Case had wages of $8,541 and expenses of $2,884.

Coun. Raquel Knust’s remuneration was $8,301 with $3,198 in expenses, followed by salaries of $8,181 for Coun. Beryl Ludwig ($1,297 expenses), $7,641 for Coun. Greg McCune ($126 expenses) and $7,521 for Coun. Earl Shipmaker (no expenses).

“There’s good value for the dollars provided. Council is working hard for the community,” said Cyr, adding that attending meetings and advance preparations take up considerable time.

“There’s e-mails, phone calls and being out in the community.”

Total remuneration and expenses for city staff in 2013 was $999,769.

There was only one city employee who earned more than $70,000 — then-chief administrative officer Barry Gagnon at $100,450, with $3,504 in expenses.

“For what our staff accomplish for the community day-to-day and through finding efficiencies, they are doing a heck of a job,” said Cyr.

“It’s the cost of doing business and the community is getting excellent value from our staff.”

 

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