Saturday, July 14, 2012

BC Cities Pay Top Officials More than White House Does

By Dermod Travis, Today,
Pity Jack Lew, President Barack Obama's White House chief of staff, the highest ranking employee inside the executive office of the president of the United States.

Earning a paltry $172,200 a year, Lew's salary pales in comparison to George Duncan, the chief administrative officer of -- wait for it -- Richmond, B.C., who pocketed a cool $267,613 in 2010/11 for keeping the lights on in that Lower Mainland suburb.

And Duncan's salary isn't even an anomaly. The chief administrative officers or city managers of cities such as Delta, North Vancouver (City and District), Kelowna, Maple Ridge, West Vancouver, Burnaby, Kamloops, Langley City, Pitt Meadows, White Rock, Surrey, Vancouver and Victoria all earned more than the White House chief of staff last year, according to the Vancouver Sun's Public Sector Salaries database.

In fact, according to the 30 cities covered by the Vancouver Sun's database, 116 municipal employees in B.C. earned more than Obama's chief of staff and 17 of TransLink's top breadwinners pulled in more than poor old Lew as well.

The overall winner of the B.C. City Hall Pay Sweepstakes? Penny Ballem, Vancouver's city manager, who banked a tidy $324,110, nearly double Lew's salary.
Poor Josh, too 

And gold-plated municipal salaries aren't just "a big city" phenomenon in B.C.

In the Town of Lillooet, the chief administrative officer is paid $120,316 annually to keep an eye on 2,322 local residents.

 Or put another way: it costs each taxpayer in Lillooet roughly $110 to keep their CAO living in comfort, not even taking into account all of the other town employees they must pay for as well.

Now compare that Lillooet salary to Obama's principal deputy press secretary Josh Earnest, described by the Washington Post as a key member of Obama's message team, who makes $123,000 a year at his White House gig and is perpetually a slip of the tongue away from igniting an international incident.?
Still keeping Josh Earnest's pay in mind, consider the plight of Victoria's hard hit taxpayers.



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I have been a resident of Coldstream since 1976. I have had 15 years of experience on Council, 3 years as Mayor. As a current Councillor I am working to achieve fair water and sewer rates and to ensure that taxpayers get fair treatment. The current direction regarding water supply is unsustainable and I am doing all I can to get the most cost effective water supply possible.