Sooke’s chief administrative officer Teresa Sullivan and former corporate officer Gabryel Joseph filed for $38,727.74 in expenses last year – more than doubled the amount collected in recent years.
Sullivan, who was hired as CAO in December 2015, billed the district $22,314.37 in 2016, according to just-released financial documents. She also drew a salary of $140,057.83.
Joseph, who left the district last March, made $109,552.42 in salary, plus $16,413.59 in expenses.
Top expenses filed by district employees over the last three years averaged about $10,000.
Local governments are required to disclose salaries of employees making more than $75,000 a year by June 30.
The expenses are in line with what council budgeted for corporate services training – $40,000 in 2016, up $28,000 from 2015. Most of Joeseph and Sullivan’s expenses were for training and conferences.
“We realized when we hired (Sullivan) that she didn’t have years and years of experience. We traded paying her a lower salary with providing more training. The expenses are a reflection of it,” Mayor Maja Tait said.
Coun. Rick Kasper said council attempting to be transparent on all expenses and anyone can view detailed documents at city hall or approach council.
“In the spirit of openness and transparency all details must be released. There is nothing to hide,” he said.
Meanwhile, several of the district’s top wage earners received salary increases of between one to 22.5 per cent between 2015 and 2016.
Assistant fire chief Matt Barney was the district’s top earner, making $167,797, plus $1,418.10, for a total of 169,215.53.
Firefighters Chris McCrea and Cam Norris-Jones made $127,407.15 and $125,418.12 respectively as well as more than $1,000 each in expenses.
Former fire chief Steve Sorensen was paid $127,898.95. He retired in October.
Finance director Brent Blackhall saw the biggest wage hike: 22.4 percent when he went from deputy finance director to finance director. He was paid $121,005.20 in salary and expenses in 2016.
Member of Sooke council receive an annual pay of $10,159.86, while Mayor Maja Tait’s remuneration is $14,536.86.
Council members are also entitled to claim expenses. Those expenses included:
• Mayor Maja Tait: $4,336.62
• Coun. Bev Berger: $1,660.38
• Coun. Rick Kasper: $6,337.45
• Coun. Brenda Parkinson, $2,178.94
• Coun. Kevin Pearson: $0
• Coun. Kerrie Reay, $3,096.80
• Coun. Ebony Logins, $2,606.59