Municipal government salaries made public

The District of Sooke paid three of its staff members more than $145,000 last year, according to district documents

The District of Sooke paid three of its staff members more than $145,000 last year, according to document released by the district last week.

By law, the district must release an annual report containing the remuneration of every employee who was paid $75,000 or more in the previous year.

Topping the list was assistant fire chief Matthew Barney, who was paid $149,613.70.

The next highest salary, $149,553.69, went to former chief administrative officer Gord Howie. Close behind was former deputy fire chief Richard McLeod.

In all, there were 12 district employees who were paid $75,000 or more.

Mayor Maja Tait was paid $18,756.96, while each councillor received $10,159.89 in pay.

Sooke councillors spent $19,245.22 in expenses last year.

A large portion of the expenses were to attend regional, provincial and national conventions and workshops.

The highest spender among council members was Coun. Rick Kasper who billed taxpayers $6,963.43. Coun. Brenda Parkinson was the second highest, with total expenses of $5,785.85 Coun. Ebony Logins spent $4,507.28, while Coun. Kevin Pearson expensed $261.

Councillors Bev Berger and Kerrie Reay had no expenses.

Tait billed the municipality $1,727.66 for expenses.

Kasper made no apologies for his expenses, adding that they are all approved by council well in advance.

“I don’t have a problem with people being critical [of my expenses),” Kasper said.

“Sooke is not in a position where it can think that it’s in a world of its own. There’s a lot that we can learn from other elected representatives or other organizations, not only in B.C. but across the country.”

Expenses for the mayor and councillors all came in under their annual allotted budget.

In addition to expenses, city councillors earn an annual stipend of $10,159.89, while the mayor earns $18,756.96.

There were no severance agreements made between the district  and its non-unionized and unionized employees in 2015.