After being named the highest spender for the past several years running, a couple of colleagues have bumped Coldstream Coun. Maria Besso out of the top spot.
Besso was knocked to third with $1,370 in spending, under Coun. Gyula Kiss who spent $2,501 and Mayor Jim Garlick who topped the list with $2,742 in expenses. The remaining councillors had zero expenses.
Those numbers are on top of remuneration for the political positions, which are as follows: Garlick $30,998; Kiss $15,034; Doug Dirk $14,954; Besso $14,178; Peter McClean $13,111; Richard Enns $12,979 and Pat Cochrane $11,399.
The expenses are incurred mainly from convention attendance, as Kiss points out.
“I’ve been going to various meetings, including UBCM and the SILGA, and my main interest is trying to convince authorities to change the master water plan.”
Attending such meetings is worthwhile, adds Garlick, who was able to glean information and push subjects such as water monitoring in Coldstream Creek at UBCM. He also spoke with the Ministry of Transportation.
“Thanking them for the work they did and trying to get them to do some more work on Highway 6 and at the lookout,” said Garlick.
Besso applauds Garlick and Kiss for taking the time to attend extra events and meetings on behalf of the taxpayer.
“It’s not good enough to just come to council and warm a chair,” said Besso, who thinks those who didn’t attend meetings should be questioned.
Meanwhile Besso was more frugal on her trip to UBCM.
“I stayed in a cheaper hotel and I walked,” said Besso.
“I did save the taxpayer money.”
Meanwhile on staff, the top paid position is chief administrative officer.
Former CAO Michael Stamhuis earned $152,750 in 2013. Former director of financial administration Trevor Seibel (who is now CAO) made $128,628, approximately $3,500 of that was expenses.
Corporate officer Keri-Ann Austin had the highest expenses $7,166 (added to her remuneration of $87,816), followed by building official Bob Bibby with $4,366 in expenses (added to his remuneration of $94,314).
The district is required to identify employees earning more than $75,000 per year, of which there are 11. Four of those are in the six-digit category.