In the same week the last truck rolled off the line at the Sterling plant, the 2008 Sunshine Club membership list crossed our desk.
So, while 700 or so hard-working employees at the South Edgeware Road plant bid farewell to the final medium-duty truck — and their jobs — the $100,000 club at city hall swells by nearly 25 per cent in the past year.
With area job losses now in the thousands, five more municipal employees join the ranks of the $100,000-plus salary club, bringing the total to 27.
That’s up from 22 in 2007 and a mere four individuals just four years ago.
The numbers are based on figures documented under the Public Sector Salary Disclosure Act, which requires municipalities to publicly report salary and benefits of more than $100,000 paid to municipal employees.
St. Thomas Police Chief Bill Lynch tops the salary list at $135,267.76 ($131,097.60 in 2007), plus another $3,500 in benefits.
The police department held down the second spot, as Deputy Chief Darryl Pinnell checked in at $126,348.32 ($122,509.40).
Four other uniformed staff also made the list, up two from 2007. They include inspectors Mark Traichevich and Jeff Driedger at $119,732.80, Staff Sgt. Steve Withenshaw, $101,627.36 and Staff Sgt. Russell Yates, $101.327.55.
The latter two are new to the club in 2008.
With two time-consuming murder investigations to deal with, overtime was no doubt a factor in 2007.
It would appear the fire department brought its overtime issues in line as Sunshine Club membership dropped to 11 from an even dozen one year ago.
Fire Chief Bob Barber led the department with a 2008 salary of $121,963.19 ($122, 626.11 in 2007). Last year’s top city wage earner, platoon chief Glenn Dutton saw his salary drop to $107,208.86, from $132,052.65.
Sure makes you wonder about those overtime tabs for 2007.
And welcome aboard new member, Senior Fire Captain Glenn Hill, who joins the list for the first time at $104,534.77.
At city hall itself, director of environmental services John Dewancker checks in at $120,014.34 ($117,229.86); treasurer Bill Day, $109,843.30 ($115,280.95); planning director Pat Keenan, $109,792.20 ($107,072.71); human resources director Graham Dart, $109,792.20 ($107,072.71); manager of operations and compliance Ivar Andersen, $104,950.08 ($102,099.96); and city clerk Wendell Graves, $103,341.74 ($101,257..49).
For the first time, female employees joined the club, including library CEO Rudi Denham at $103,434.58; director of Ontario Works Sandra Datars-Bere, $101,617.74 and director of nursing at Valleyview Joyce Gonyou, $100,914.38.
Ah, membership has its benefits.
WILLING TO WORK
You ponder that list and then turn to the free employment listings the T-J now prints as a service to those out of work and a sense of desperation sets in.
Registered dental hygienists, long-distance truckers, millwrights, retail managers, tool and die makers … every single employment wanted ad represents a vital piece of the fabric that weaves together St. Thomas and Elgin.
Honest, dedicated, roll-up-the-sleeves-and-get-the-job-done folks who take pride in their work who just want the chance to bring their skills to the table and contribute and some of them have done for decades.
“Willing to do anything, just want to bring home a pay cheque to support my family,” notes one ad.
Getting these people back where they productively belong must be the priority for every level of government in this country.
We’ll continue to run those free listings to assist in any way we possibly can, but it will be damn nice when that corner of the paper returns to its former role of trumpeting various items and services for sale.
If you’ve taken advantage of the listings and gained employment, give this corner a call. We could sure use some good news.
Mayor Cliff Barwick goes to Japan for a two-week junket and all he brings us back is a T-shirt that says “Japan, Wish You Were Here.”
And can you believe the anecdote from his trip, reported in the T-J earlier this week?
While bread-winners in this area fret about losing the shirts off their backs, Mayor Barwick boasts about trading shirts with a company vice-president.
Welcome back to reality.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“Now, they don’t build trucks in Canada anymore. It’s brutal.”
Gerald McCormick, a 16-year Sterling Truck employee, tells it like it is as the last truck trundles off the line.
City Scope appears every Saturday in the Times-Journal. Questions and comments may be e-mailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org.