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Expenses for top officials in Sooke increased dramatically — 18 Comments

    • For councillors, it is pretty much just conference attendance costs and reimbursements for gas/ferry/flights/per diems as per policy.

    • I get it! Don’t go there! I’m a union executive, but realistically how many of these “trips” benefit the township as they do the councillor? I’d love to see what their per diems are….I know what is reasonable. I have people to explain to as well.

  1. Britt, don’t know this for a fact, but i believe the extra expenses for the CAO and Director of Corporate Services reflects the $40k in annual “professional development” expenses for DOS Corporate Services approved in the 5 Year Financial Plan starting last year. This year, the CAO is allowed as much as $15k for further education, while Corporate Services as a whole has $25k to spend. This is pencilled in as an annual expense over the next five years. Until 2015, that department was allowed just $12k in professional development annually … an amount that was in place since 2007 at least. My take: District staff definitely need to keep training and stay abreast of current municipal best practices, however perhaps not to this generous extent. And it disturbs me that our former Director of Corporate Services beefed up his resume at our expense and then moved on with such haste. https://sooke.ca/municipal-hall/plans-reports/financial-plan/

    • For councillors, it is pretty much just conference attendance costs and reimbursements for gas/ferry/flights/per diems as per policy.

  2. In the past our Emergency plan was fulfilled by having staff members trained as officers, Director, Logistics, Planning, Operations, Risk Management, Finance etc. By law the District has to fulfill a plan that include Police Fire Ambulance and the ability to protect the residents in a disaster by training key people to fill positions of our Emergency plan. We have recently lost so many staff members and with no new members trained to fill these spots. During the last Sooke District Emergency open house the public learned that our Emergency Plan is suspended and the District is at risk of any hazard affecting the residents. With all the money spent, why hasn’t there been any training from Emergency Management BC? There may be a drive to improve the OCP but this omission should be corrected as well.

  3. I guess it depends on the expenses. I purchase thousands of dollars of stuff each year for my place of work. I eventually get reimbursed for these items. In the public sector, this would be considered payment for expenses and thus be part of the disclosure. I am not getting any personal benefit from these expenses, they are for work! Yes, where I can, it gets billed directly to my work, but there are lots of suppliers where this is not an option. In other cases it is cheaper to just buy the item and have it reimbursed monthly rather that having a staff person dealing with invoices and individual cheques to multiple sources.

    A few years back a public servant took crap from the media and public because there was an expense item for makeup. Turns out it was chapstick that was handed out to teens as part of a youth involvement program, NOT for personal use. Yet all the public saw was the headline that some person had been reimbursed for makeup and people screamed.

  4. Interesting that the highest paid person was the Assistant Fire Chief, making around $40,000 more than the chief and that 4 of the top five paid are firefighters. I assume that this is in part because of overtime they would get as hourly employees, vs being a salaried manager. I guess that RCMP salaries are not shown separately as it is just lumped under the policing total. I am actually a little surprised that more staff did not make over $75,000 (this is the figure at which their individual salaries are disclosed).

  5. Why is it that when people get into any level of politics they are suddenly labeled as ‘crooks’ or worse? At the local level we are talking about people we know, neighbours, friends even. Come on folks, ask questions for sure but cut the angry, disrespectful stuff. It gets harder and harder to encourage good conscientious people into these thankless positions because of this type of treatment. Please treat people the way you wish to be treated.

  6. Ya guys, listen to Marlene! These aren’t big time media-star politicians, these are our small town, (partly volunteer) politicians!

    Keep in mind, these guys work extremely hard to run this town for peanuts….$20,000-ish for the mayor per year, and $10,000-ish to be a councillor for a year! It’s obviously not for the money…..

    And as far as expenses, I think the mayor and all the council should be commended for keeping UNDER their yearly allotted expense maximum.
    And the mayor only spent less than a third!

    I understand y’all being a bit upset by the scary news heading, but please take the time to read the full article before letting it get you all bitter inside!

    Here’s a bit of the article:

    Councillor remuneration (which hasn’t budged in the last four years) remains at $10,159.89, with Rick Kasper topping the expenses at $6,337.45. The mayor’s remuneration was $14,536.86 with $4,336.62 paid out in expenses.