City payroll climbs

Wages are being defended at Vernon city hall.

The latest information shows $23,062,463 was paid out in gross earnings and expenses to318 full-time equivalent city employees in 2016, up from $22.7 million in 2015.

“There’s a lot of work being done to make sure the community is looked after. I’m not worried about salaries,” said mayor Akbal Mund.

In 2016, 107 employees earned more than $75,000, up from 99 in 2015.

“If you look at other government organizations, we’re actually quite low,” said Mund.

Leading the pack in 2016 was chief administrative officer Will Pearce with a salary of $204,837 and expenses of $3,230. He was followed by former financial services manager Kevin Bertles with earnings of $139,978 and expenses of $11,655.

Of the 107 employees earning more than $75,000, 33 were with the operations department and 29 were with fire rescue services.

Remuneration has also been released for members of city council.

In 2016, Mund had a salary of $71,228 and expenses of $3,953, followed by Coun. Juliette Cunningham with remuneration of $26,927 and expenses of $3,316 and Coun. Catherine Lord with a salary of $23,045 and expenses of $5,399. Coun. Scott Anderson had a salary of $23,958 and expenses of $3,244 while there was a wage of $24,140 and expenses of $40 for Coun. Briah Quiring. Coun. Dalvir Nahal had a wage of $22,332 and expenses of $1,609 and Coun. Bob Spiers had remuneration of $23,885 and no expenses.

Quiring’s companies, MQN Architects and MQN Interiors, received $606,642 for work on Kal Tire Place, the recreation complex, the outdoor rink and the parkade.