Here’s a way for the city to play transfer station operator for less


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Budget deliberations the last three years have been relatively civil in nature and completed in timely fashion.
With a preliminary tax hike of 5.9% in the balance for 2014, matters are likely to get heated, if not downright ugly, on Monday as members of council — painfully aware the municipal vote looms in October — whittle that number down to the 3% range before calling it an evening.
That’s going to take some resolve as council is faced with several ‘no-touch’ items that account for a considerable hit to the municipal property tax rate.
Land ambulance costs will rise $400,000 this year; policing at the new consolidated courthouse will add about $450,000; and then there’s the promised grant of $350,000 to the hospital revitalization fund — part of a 10-year $3.5 million pledge.
There’s more than a million big ones right off the bat.
And, don’t forget back in December council approved adoption of a long-term asset management plan — to deal with a whopping infrastructure deficit — and voted to include the plan in the budget to ensure sufficient capital reserves are available to fund the plan.
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Always room for one more in this club


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The city’s most exclusive club saw its membership increase by four in 2013. We’re talking about the Sunshine Club at city hall — those employees who earned $100,000 or more under public sector salary disclosure.
Mind you, it was a modest increase from 58 select members in 2012 to 62 this past year.
A far cry from the door-crashing rush in 2012 when the rolls swelled to 58 from 39 in 2011.
Breaking the numbers down, in 2013 city administration counted 14 in the Sunshine Club, up from 13 the year previous.
The police department enrolment actually declined by one — from 17 to 16.
At the fire halls, the ranks increased to 32 in 2013 from 28 in 2012. That means the fire department membership is greater than the police and city administration combined.
Concentrating on administration salaries only, the top wage-earner last year was CAO Wendell Graves at $165,900, which is actually down from a year ago at $166,315. Continue reading

Fiscal restraint at city hall a matter of attitude


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Totally unsustainable. That’s the only conclusion following the disclosure this week of municipal staff who earned more than $100,000 in 2010.

Membership in the sunshine club mushroomed by 44% — 39 city employees are included on the list, up from 27 in 2009. However, only 10 are city hall employees, while 16 are firefighters and 13 are with the police department.

Is overtime part of the problem, questions Mayor Heather Jackson-Chapman.

“Can we do something to curb that? What can we do to keep this in check to deal with this?”

Yes, overtime is a factor with both police and fire and, for the time being, there’s little St. Thomas can do.
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2010 Public Sector Salaries, City of St. Thomas


These are the most recent figures filed in March, 2011 for 2010.
Employee, their position with the city, salary paid and (2009 salary).

Boe, John Senior Platoon Chief, fire dept. $106,838.72 ($110,221.98)
Brisseau, Mark Senior Capt. fire dept. $106,709.75 ($103,066.72)
Broadbent, Robert Chief, fire dept. $120,384.15 ($108,413.40)
Butters, Kevin, Senior Capt. fire dept. $101,462.01 (not on list)
Carroll, Michael Administrator, Valleyview Home $107,836.12 ($104,628.72)
Dart, Graham, Director Human Resources $116,435.00 ($113,048.10)
Day, Bill, City Treasurer $125,144.62 (on leave for part of 2009)
Denham, Rudi CEO, Library $107,762.43 ($100,279.35)
Dewancker, John Director, Env. Services $127,249.76 ($123,565.17)
Donker, Steve, Senior Capt. fire dept. $105,653.29 ($106,729.04)
Driedger, Jeff Senior Insp. police $129,410.34 ($119,871)
Eaton, Robert, Senior Capt. fire dept. $101,563.96 (not on list)
Gonyou, Joyce, Director Nursing, Valleyview Home $106,814.71 ($103,904.64)
Graves, Wendell City Clerk $126,338.14 ($106,388.31)
Herridge, Chris, Sr. Staff Sgt. police dept. $109,075.82 (not on list)
Hikele, Richard, Senior Capt. fire dept. $106,197.91 ($102,275.54)
Hill, Glenn, Senior Capt. fire dept. $107,316.33 ($109,123.18)
Hulst, James, Senior Capt. fire dept. 107,736.73 (not on list)
Jensen, Oscar Deputy Chief, fire dept. $119,001.68 ($114,921.54)
Keenan, Patrick, Director, Planning dept. $116,434.99 ($113,048.06)
Kernohan, Kevin, Senior Platoon Chief, fire dept. $120,338.81 ($116.150.56)
Kowalczyk, Judith, Sr. Staff Sgt. police dept. $106,577.44 (not on list)
Lynch, William Chief, police dept. $157,133.32 ($135,424,00)
Mundt, Randy, Sr. Staff Sgt. police dept. $112,274.85 ($100,700.84)
Newton, Sue, Sr. Sgt. police dept. $101,586.65
Ormerod, Ray, Senior Training Officer, fire dept. $106,556.96 ($104,084.60)
Perrin, Chris, Sr. Sgt. police dept. $106,104.38 (not on list)
Pinnell, Darryl, Deputy Chief, police dept. $136,537.12 ($126.494.48)
Scott, Warren, Sr. Platoon chief, fire dept. $116,467.40 ($104,480.07)
Soldo, Edward, Mgr. Operations & Compliance, $107,464.34 (not on list)
Todd, Bill, Sr. Chief Fire Prevention Officer, fire dept. $102,479.98 (not on list)
Traichevich, Mark Senior Insp. police dept. $129,410.34 ($119,871.40)
Tucker, Ross, Director, Parks & Recreation $103,488.39 (not on list)
Vaughan, Marc, Sr. Constable, police dept. $103,665.83 (not on list)
Walters, Mark, Sr. Platoon Chief. fire dept. $112,206.70 ($102,260.00)
Willson, Rodger Sr. Platoon Chief, fire dept. $110,147.54 ($107,647.02)
Withenshaw, Steve, Sr. Staff Sgt. police dept. $109,014.32 ($101,677.98)
Yates, Russell, Sr. Staff Sgt. police dept. $110,203.12 (not on list)
Zehr, Henry, Sr. Staff Sgt. police dept. $106,566.82 (not on list)

The complete 2009 salary list can be found here.

There’s always room for one more in the Sunshine Club


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Membership certainly has its privileges. As in, when you are a card-carrying member of the $100,000 Sunshine Club, who needs to return calls from pesky reporters, like the T-J’s Kyle Rea, seeking comment from spokespeople from the Big 3.

That would be the Thames Valley District School Board, the London District Catholic School Board and St. Thomas-Elgin General Hospital.

According to public sector salary disclosure information released Wednesday, every single elementary and high school principal in St. Thomas and Elgin earned a minimum of $100,000 in 2009.

More breath-taking, 280 TVDSB employees are Sunshine Club members, a bump of 100 from last year and a dizzying jump from the 65 just two years ago.
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Salary disclosures are nosy, unproductive ramblings


Posted by Ian:

Reader E. Thompson of St. Thomas is quite upset with my recent posting of public salary disclosures at city hall (other Elgin municipalities, hospital employees and school board officials must file this info by the end of the month). She calls publication of this mandated information as, “nosy, unnecessary, unproductive ramblings.” After speaking with her personally, we have cordially agreed to disagree. In addition, she is quite annoyed at my suggestion Joe Thornton, who was ceremonial chairman of the Timken Centre capital fundraising committee, might consider a monetary contribution to earn naming rights for the main rink, now that Walker Transport has declared bankruptcy. Otherwise, I believe city ratepayers should be recognized for their increased financial role in all of this. In any event, here is her full criticism of my comments. The post in question can be found here .

Re: March 6th City Scope by Ian McCallum

I have read several of Mr. McCallum’s columns that have made me twinge in horror. This one was no exception.
It’s bad enough that the individuals so dedicated to our community such as our Police Chief, Fire Chief and their officers have to read their personal business related to the income of their employ on the front page of the paper every year, then Mr. McCallum must turn around and make his comments on the subject as well.
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2009 Public Sector Salaries, Elgin/St. Thomas health sector


Salary figures released March 31,2010 for 2009 – 2008 salary in brackets.

St. Thomas-Elgin General Hospital
COLLINS,PAUL President/Chief Executive Officer $204,727 ($200,920)
CRAIG, DR. IAN Pathologist $469,263 ($421,529)
FLETCHER,KATHRYN ANN Pharmacist $115,866 ($117,347)
GRANT, ANITA Director, Patient Care $108,617 ($104,240)
HILLMAN, MARY-ELLEN $103,804 ($117,733)
HOPKINS, MALCOLM Vice President, Corporate Services $154,130 ($150,778)
KOLATOR-COTNAM, SUSAN $103,929 (new)
LAMBERT, BRENDA Vice President, Patient Services $128,995 ($125,294)
MOORE, ANNE Registered Nurse $104,711 ($101,902)
THOMPSON, HEATHER Director, Patient Care $105,387 ($101,338)
WASTY, DR. FASAHAT Pathologist $334,805 ($149,963)

Elgin St. Thomas Public Health
KUNTZ, CAROLYN $114,221
MCLACHLIN, LAURA $114,221
ST. JOHN,CYNTHIA Executive Director $150,075 ($123,627)

Canadian Mental Health Association, Elgin branch
DEBRUYN, HEATHER $104,541 ($101,180)

Community Living Elgin
MCCALLUM, TOM $103,610 ($104,814)

Family and Children’s Services of St. Thomas and Elgin
POTGIETER, ROD $135,000 ($132,382)

West Elgin Community Health Centre
ABUSHAWISH, GHASSAN $119,836 ($203,096)
MARDELL, KEVIN physician $259,400 ($222,072)
MELITTO, CATHERINE $112,819 ($108,403)

VON Middlesex Elgin
LECLAIR, LINDA $103,000 ($100,042)