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Thirty-four North Cowichan employees make more than $100,000

Spending on municipal staff up 17.5 percent in one year due to covid, new hirings

Thirty-four employees at North Cowichan municipal hall made more than $100,000 in 2021, up from 27 employees in 2020, according to the latest statement of financial information.

North Cowichan employees also received a total of $17,990,091 in 2021, an increase of 17.5 percent or $2.6 million over 2020. The payments include “salaries, wages and taxable benefits.”

In an email to, chief administrative officer Ted Swabey attributed the hike to the pandemic and new hirings.

“During 2020, the COVID 19 pandemic required some facilities (to) close, resulting in a temporary reduction of staff. Once we could begin reopening those facilities, we had to do so with reduced programming and reduced staff in order to meet the public health orders. The outcome was reduced overall salaries in 2020 vs. 2019 when we operated at full capacity.

“In 2021, as COVID restrictions continued to ease, the recreation centres were able to resume most of their pre-pandemic operations, and the remainder of the staff were able to return to work.

“In addition, Council approved several new permanent positions in 2021 along with several temporary positions, which were funded through the COVID-19 Restart Grant from the Province.”

Here’s the list of North Cowichan’s top-10 earners in 2021:

— Mark Frame, general manager financial and protective services (retired), $244,150.
— Ted Swabey, chief administrative officer, $223,282.
— Sarah Nixon, deputy chief administrative officer, $194,556.
— George Farkas, general manager planning/development/community services, $168,475.
— Ernie Mansueti, general manager financial/protective services (retired), $155,854.
— Robert Conway, director planning/building, $154,546.
— Don Stewart, director parks/recreation/forestry, $147,246.
— David Conway, director engineering projects, $144,186
— Clay Reitsma, director engineering, $141,371.
— Jason Birch, chief information officer, $140,354.

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