No need to look to Ottawa for political shell games


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We briefly alluded last week to the 2011 public sector salary disclosure for city hall employees who earned more than $100,000.
Here is the full list and the previous year’s salary in brackets:
Bridge, Tim, lead hand building maintenance – $101,483.03 (new)
Brisseau, Mark, captain fire department – $107,871.76 ($106,709.75)
Broadbent, Robert, fire chief – $127,496.56 ($120,384.15)
Butters, Kevin, captain fire department – $104,962.28 ($101,462.01)
Carroll, Michael, Valleyview administrator – $107,975.14 ($107,836.12)
Dart, Graham, director human resources – $116,552.80 ($116,435)


Day, Bill, city treasurer – $125,270.67 ($125,144.62)
Denham, Rudi, library CEO – $108,286.31 ($107,762.43)
Dewancker, John, director environmental services – $127,438.78 ($127,249.76)
Donker, Steve captain fire department – $106,178.41 ($105.653.29)
Jeff Driedger, police inspector – $127,192.76 ($129,410.34)
Eaton, Robert, captain fire department – $107,728.99 ($101,563.96)
Gonyou, Joyce, director of nursing – $106,759.59 ($106,814.71)
Graves, Wendell, CAO/city clerk – $146,217.59 ($126,338.14)
Gregory, David, captain fire department – $101,256.11 (new)
Herridge, Chris, staff sergeant – $102,827.04 ($109,075.82)
Hikele, Richard, captain fire department – $107,231.61 ($106,197.91)
Hill, Glenn, captain fire department – $108,665.18 ($107,316.33)
Hulst, James, captain fire department – $106,592.98 ($107,736.73)
Jenson, Oscar, deputy fire chief – $118,743.35 ($119.001.68)
Keenan, Patrick, director of planning – $116,552.80 ($116,434.99)
Kernohan, Kevin, platoon chief – $120,140.84 ($120,338.81)
Kowalczyk, Judy, staff sergeant – $106,451.00 ($106,577.44)
Leverton, Brian, fire prevention officer – $100,788.16 (new)
Lynch, Bill, police chief – $150,976.60 ($157,133.32)
Mundt, Randy, staff sergeant – $108,523.56 ($112,274.85)
Ormerod, Ray, training officer fire department $107,486.76 ($106,556.96)
Perrin, Chris, sergeant – $100,347.33 ($106.104.38)
Pinnell, Darryl, deputy police chief – $134,217.88 ($136,537.12)
Scott, Warren, platoon chief – $113,264.51 ($116,467.40)
Soldo, Edward, manager of operations/compliance – $109,761.60 ($107,464.34)
Todd, Bill, chief fire prevention officer – $104,937.80 ($102,479.98)
Traichevich, Mark, police inspector – $127,192.76 ($129,410.34)
Tucker, Ross, director parks and recreation – $108,810.16 ($103,488.39)
Walters, Mark, platoon chief – $112,342.94 ($112,206.70)
Willson, Rogers, platoon chief – $111,474.53 ($110,147.54)
Withenshaw, Steve, staff sergeant – $108,669.32 ($109.014.32)
Yates, Russ, staff sergeant – $105,233.64 ($110,203.12)
Zehr, Henry, staff sergeant – $104,636.51 ($106,566.82)

YOUR CHANCE TO PARTICIPATE
The open house to gain further insight on the city’s 2012 budget is today from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Elgin Mall. Come armed with questions and demand of our elected representative and city staff fiscal responsibility and accountability.

POINT TO PONDER
The three members of council opposed to construction of a new police headquarters have now taken to challenging the validity of the most recent consultant report from John Pepper which recommends vacating the present facility in lieu of extensive renovations.
It’s a biased opinion, suggest aldermen Jeff Kohler, Mark Cosens and Sam Yusef, since Pepper is in the business of constructing new police headquarters.
Instead, the trio are touting the merits of a report from Thomas P. Rylett Ltd., presented to council this past Monday, pushing for renovating the existing building.
A little digging uncovers the fact Rylett was involved with the design/construction of the current home of the city’s police service.
Hmm, no bias there.
Why would the firm recommend anything other than refurbishment of a structure they were affiliated with?
And, who on council gave the green light to involve Rylett, how much is the report going to cost ratepayers and to which city department will it be charged?

SLEAZY
That’s the only word to describe Cosens’ attempt to call a snap vote Monday on the proposed location north of the Timken Centre for the new home of the police service.
So sleazy he couldn’t get anyone on council as a seconder to introduce the motion.
You don’t have to look to Ottawa to see shell-game politics.

THE READERS WRITE
In response to the saga of the police headquarters, reader ‘bandit2’ comments on the T-J website: “How many times can the people who run this great city think that renovating the police station can help. We are spending millions of dollars for a new courthouse. This has been put off for too long that instead of the 10 million it would have cost a few years back, you the people who run our fair city decided to put it off and now you are faced with 19 million and still can’t decide what to do. Did any one of you go see the cramped spaces these officers work in. Shame on you for letting it get this bad.”

QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“No question they are starved for space, cramped quarters and dealing with an outdated building. The building is of such construction, to try to renovate the current building would be nearly impossible without tearing the whole thing down and starting from scratch.”
Ald. Mark Cosens from his campaign video produced just prior to the 2010 municipal election.

City Scope appears every Saturday in the Times-Journal. Questions and comments may be emailed to: ian.mccallum@sunmedia.ca.

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2 thoughts on “No need to look to Ottawa for political shell games

  1. For those who think that the taxpayers of St. Thomas have $19 Million dollars burning a whole in their pockets, let me bring you up to speed.

    Many of the taxpayers of St. Thomas, who have not lost their jobs, have not seen their wages increase. In many instances, these taxpayers have had to take a decrease in their pay.

    They are having a difficult enough time making ends meet. How can you expect them to pay more property taxes for a new Police Services Building, when they do not have the money?

    Mayor Heather Jackson-Chapman is quoted as saying “A lot has changed in the five years since we went down the path….Maybe that’s what we need to do is get some cost estimates on some of the other stuff that could happen on that site,”

    As the Mayor says, the Ontario Court of Justice is planning to move out in 2014.

    What is to become of the current building that houses Police Services and the Ontario Court of Justice? Will it become another vacant building, up for sale, along with so many other empty buildings in St. Thomas?

    If it was a perfect world, a new Police Services Building should be constructed. Until we have a perfect world, we are going to have to make due with what we have.

    If it is going to cost more than $25 million dollars to renovate the present building for Police Services, then yes, build a new Police Services Building. A new building will no doubt go over budget anyways, probably near the $25 million dollar mark.

    City Council and Police Services have a money tree growing in their collective back yard. That money tree is called the taxpayer. Due to abuse by those in Municipal Government who have been forcing it to bear fruit prematurely, that money tree is dying.

    Mayor Heather Jackson-Chapman has her eyes open, thank goodness, and realizes this, and wants to make sure that the taxpayer pays what they can afford, not what they can’t afford.

    The rest of them do not necessarily have their eyes closed, but are blinded to the economic reality of our situation.

  2. My nephew is a District Chief / Captain in a fire service in a nearby city; he’s pondering moving to St. Thomas and trying for a similar job there if a salary like that is available.

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