(Google Sheets/Data from respective financial statements)

(Google Sheets/Data from respective financial statements)

Saanich annual wages lower per capita than Victoria, Oak Bay

Victoria, Saanich and Oak Bay municipal figures from 2019 compared

As municipalities gear up to approve 2021 budgets, councils across the region are scrambling to prioritize overdue capital projects.

This is especially true in the older cities of Oak Bay, Saanich and Victoria, who, at times, are still dealing with century-old wood staves while trying to install the next generation of subground drainage, sewer and water mains.

Wages, however, remain the biggest line items in the municipal budgets. The latest comparable numbers are from the 2019 year-end statement of financial information (SOFI) reports, which were filed in 2020.

The mayoral wages for 2019 were $34,415.26 in Oak Bay, $116,492 in Saanich, $112,998 in Victoria, $44,769 in Langford, $58,500 in Esquimalt, $31,722 in Colwood, and $31,738 in View Royal. Councillors earned $14,604.48 in Oak Bay, $46,048 in Saanich, $45,199 in Victoria, $27,318 in Langford, $25,093 in Esquimalt, $15,861 in Colwood, and $15,216 in View Royal.

Google Sheets chart sourced from Victoria.ca, Oakbay.ca, Saanich.ca, Colwood.ca, CRD.bc.ca., Viewroyal.ca, Langford.ca

READ ALSO: $249,828 salary leads Saanich’s top-10 earners in 2016

The region’s top earner in 2019 was Dave Clancy with the Capital Regional District, who earned $387, 172, as project manager for the $775 million Core Area Liquid Waste Management that is now in place.

The City of Victoria’s $262 million budget spent $123 million on wages and benefits. Of that, $65 million went to protective services, the line item of municipal budgets. Oak Bay’s total wages were $24 million, of which $9 million went to protective services, while Saanich’s total was $107.8 million in wages of which $49 million was for protective services.

The CRD’s total wages in 2019 was $65 million.

A rudimentary comparison of wage costs per capita (conservatively based on 2016 census numbers of 92,141) breaks down to $1,334 per Victoria resident, $1,326 per capita in Oak Bay (18,094) and $904 per capita in Saanich (119,229).

Google Sheets chart sourced from Victoria.ca, Oakbay.ca, Saanich.ca, Colwood.ca, CRD.bc.ca., Viewroyal.ca, Langford.ca

Department heads at the CRD lead the way as the biggest earners in the region behind Clancy. CRD chief administrative officer (CAO) Robert Lapham earned $282,659, Core Area Liquid Wastewater Treatment Project deputy project director Elizabeth Scott $272,601, CRD top accountant Nelson Chan, the chief financial officer, earned $237,343 and Parisa Heidarykhagepoor, manager of project controls, $215,335.

READ MORE: Incoming Saanich Police chief will earn approximately $230,000

Victoria was next with city manager Jocelyn Jenkyns earning $232,559 plus $38,183 in benefits. Victoria top solicitor Tom Zworski earned $219,424.88 plus $19,063.60. Deputy city manager and chief financial officer Susan Thompson earned $215,079.15, plus $27,510. Director of parks, recreation and facilities Thomas Soulliere made $190,278, Fire Chief Paul Bruce made $185,900 plus $15,242 and Victoria director of engineering and public works, Fraser Work made $186,510.18 plus $17,768.

Municipalities no longer make police salaries public believing it compromises officer safety.

Google Sheets chart sourced from Victoria.ca, Oakbay.ca, Saanich.ca, Colwood.ca, CRD.bc.ca., Viewroyal.ca, Langford.ca

Saanich’s top earner in 2019 was CAO Paul Thorkelsson at $278,781. Fire Chief Michael Burgess, was next at $201,609, with director of engineering Harley Machielse at $194,156, director of planning Sharon Hvozdanski at $193,205, director of building, bylaw, licensing and legal services, Brent Reems at $193,435, director, parks and recreation, Suzanne Samborski, 194,156, and director of finance Valla Tinney, $193,655.

Oak Bay’s top earner was CAO Lou Varela at $159,074. Director of engineering and public works, Dan Horan, earned $145,093, Fire Chief Darren Hughes, $154,379, director of building and planning Bruce Anderson, $141,807, and Donna Costin, the former director of finances, $124,793.

reporter@oakbaynews.com

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