By approving its Part 2 capital budget and the 2015 operating budget Monday, city council authorized a property tax levy of $47,040,822 for this year.
That translates to a 3.55% property tax hike in 2015, up slightly from the 3.48% proposed, yet less than the 3.8% tax levy in 2014.
The slight increase from the proposed budget presented last week to council during a public meeting at the St. Thomas Seniors’ Centre is accounted for in additional grant money doled out by council.
In total, $281,146 was distributed to community groups and social agencies in St. Thomas, much of that sum drawn from working reserves.
That figure does not include $250,000 to St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital for its expansion program as part of the city’s 10-year pledge. Continue reading
There sure was a rush on seats inside the 2014 Sunshine Club as outlined in a report to council Monday detailing City of St. Thomas public sector salary disclosure.
The city had a total of 96 employees who earned greater than $100,000, a more than 50% increase over the 2013 total of 62.
Breaking that number down, 33 members of the St. Thomas Police Service are now included, up from 16 in 2013.
Over at the fire department, 48 employees earned $100,000 or more in 2014 as compared to 32 the year previous.
And 15 city administrators exceed that figure, an increase of one over 2013.
Topping the earnings list at city hall was CAO Wendell Graves at $172,372 ($165,900 in 2013). John Dewancker, director of environmental services earned $139,693 as compared to $132,309 the previous year and Graham Dart, director of human resources, had a salary of $127,839 in 2014 ($124,784). Continue reading
Mayor Heather Jackson alluded to changes in her 2014 mayoral campaign and a report last fall on restructuring of at least one department at city hall recommended a re-think in how council conducts business.
A new game plan saw the light of day Thursday at a special meeting called to solicit dialogue on a proposed overhaul of council’s committee structure.
Currently, a system of seven standing committees is employed to deal with finance and administration; human resources; environmental services; protective services; community services; planning and development; and social services.
Business relating to each of these committees is managed within committee of the whole during regular meetings of council.
Under the new system presented by Jackson and CAO Wendell Graves, the seven committees will be scrapped in favour of four reference committees that would undertake discussions dealing with strategic community development and planning; community engagement and services; infrastructure management and civic operations; and local government and administration. Continue reading