Thursday, August 8, 2013

Prince Rupert Council leads the Northwest in remuneration

The price of democracy is a little higher on the North Coast than in other Northwest communities, as a study of Financial Information statements from Prince Rupert, Terrace and Kitimat, show that Rupert's elected officials are leading the region in compensation and expense allocations.

Municipalities are required to produce their Financial Information in a timely manner each year, outlining the remuneration and expenses that their elected officials incur. A helpful accounting (in some communities a harder to find accounting than in others) of the burden on the civic treasury that governance can provide for.

This year the numbers as of December 31, 2012 show that in Prince Rupert the salary at the top has increased, as Mayor Jack Mussallem increased the take home by some 10,000 dollars.

For the Year Ending December 31, 2012, the Mayor's Remuneration and Taxable Benefits was listed at $42, 426, he claimed $23,068 in expenses making for a Total of $65,494.

That is an increase of $10,247 from the Financial numbers of 2011.

In that year, the Mayor's salary was $39,956 and he claimed expenses of $15,291, making for a total of $55,247

Prince Rupert City Council members in 2012 collected a base salary of $13,165 with the exception of Councillor Kinney who is recorded as receiving $13,729.

With expenses, the Council members Total Remuneration and Expenses for 2012 comes in at the following amounts:

Councillor Ashley $18,685
Councillor  Carlick-Pearson $13,290
Councillor Rice  $18,980
Councillor Garon $14,022
Councillor Thorkelson $13,188
Councillor Kinney $17,943

The full documentation on the Financial Statements of Information for 2012 can be found here (starts at page 16), by comparison the accounts for 2011 can be found here (starts at page 138).

The key Charts for both years can be found below

Those numbers are good enough to put Prince Rupert atop the municipal listings, when compared to the remuneration paid to elected officials in Terrace and Kitimat.

In Terrace , the Terrace Standard provides the details on financial remuneration, with Mayor David Pernarowski having earned $31,202 with expenses of $5,764.30 making for a total of $36,966

The City of Terrace's six councillors earned $11,983.40 in 2012, claiming expenses that averaged $4,301.

You can gain some background on the nature of government with Terrace council from this article from the Terrace Standard.

In Kitimat, The 2012 Schedule of Remuneration and Expenses shows that Mayor Joanne Monaghan made $29,583.96 in Remuneration and claimed $218.23 in expenses, for a total of $29,802.19

Kitimat's six councillors earned $12,163,92 in remuneration each and the average of expenses from the six councillors was $3,076.  The highest expense claimed was $6,322.19, the lowest $32.95.

Northwest residents perhaps can be thankful that they don't have the financial load handled this year by Prince George taxpayers.

At the eastern end of Highway 16, the 2012 Statement of Information for that community shows that Mayor Shari Green earned a base salary of $65,097.19 and claimed expenses of $31,175.81 (included was a vehicle expense of 4,848.) for a total of $101,173,92.

Prince George councillors earn $20,911.81 in income  and claimed expenses of $10,347.51 for a total Councillor annual pay total of $31,259.32

That's a bounty of payroll that did not escape the eyes of the Prince George Citizen.

Though it should be pointed out that they have a population base roughly seven times larger than Prince Rupert and a much larger industrial base to call upon for taxation.

A case where bigger may not be better, but clearly is a tad more expensive to govern.

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