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43 North Cowichan employees earned more than $100,000 in 2022

Victoria law office that investigated Kate Marsh received $44,284

The number of North Cowichan municipal employees earning more than $100,000 totalled 43 in 2022, up from 34 such employees in 2021 and 27 in 2020.

The 2022 Statement of Financial Information shows the following top-10 municipal money-makers, not including expenses:

— Ted Swabey, chief administrative officer, $226,561.
— Jason Birch, chief information officer, $204,205.
— George Farkas, manager, planning, $197,474
— Ernie Mansueti, (retired) general manager, financial/protective services, $186,886.
— Robert Conway, director, planning/building, $159,727.
— Talitha Soldera, general manager, corporate services, $150,618.
— David Conway, director, subdivision and environmental services, $147,735.
— Clay Reitsma, director, engineering, $147,100.
— Don Stewart, (retired) director, parks/recreation/forestry, $146,816,
— Shaun Mason, municipal forester, $139,435.

The municipality paid employees $19.4 million in 2022 (salaries, wages, bonuses, taxable benefits, etc.), up from $17.9 million in 2021.

Mansueti continued to be a leading money earner in 2022 even though he retired from the municipality in 2020.

Soldera would not comment directly on Mansueti, but said generally that some payments relate to “accrued and unused vacation or banked sick pay which may be paid in accordance with our policies, or even ‘Acting Pay’ when a staff member takes on responsibilities for a higher position for a period of time.”

The Statement of Financial Information also lists a payment of $44,284 to Pearlman Lindholm, the Victoria law office hired for the Standards of Conduct investigation brought by then-mayor Al Siebring against councillor Kate Marsh.

Siebring did not seek re-election in October 2022, and moved to Alberta, where he now does municipal consulting. Marsh failed to win re-election.

According to the financial documents, the Cowichan Band Superintendent Trust received $426,155, a lease payment related to the Joint Utility Board Sewage Treatment Plant.

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— Larry Pynn, June 8, 2023


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