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Total pay to elected officials decreases

Remuneration to staff increases by about five per cent in 2010 over 2009

Powell River Regional District directors approved the 2010 statement of financial information and 2010 audited financial statement prepared by BDO Dunwoody at the May 26 board meeting.

Directors’ remuneration and expenses decreased by nine per cent in 2010 compared to 2009. Directors received a total of $93,788 in remuneration and $20,427 in expenses, compared to $99,167 in remuneration and $27,601 in expenses in 2009.

Merrick Anderson, the director representing Lasqueti Island, had the highest expenses, $9,736 and received $12,551 in remuneration. Colin Palmer, board chair and Electoral Area C director, had $4,094 in expenses and $22,566 in remuneration. Patrick Brabazon, Area A director, had $1,446 in expenses and $14,561 in remuneration. Dave Murphy, Texada Island director, had $4,262 in expenses and $14,601 in remuneration. Stan Gisborne, Electoral Area B, had $692 in expenses and $12,235 in remuneration.

City of Powell River Director Chris McNaughton claimed $195 in expenses and received $8,448 in remuneration. Debbie Dee, city director, had no expenses and $8,821 in remuneration. Directors’ alternates claimed a total of $482 in expenses and $2,700 in remuneration.

Frances Ladret, former regional district administrator, received $101,913 in remuneration and claimed $1,964 in expenses. Don Turner, regional district planner, received $82,239 in remuneration and $1,588 in expenses. Linda Greenan, chief financial officer, received $76,874 in remuneration and $5,089 in expenses. All other employees received a total of $391,223 in remuneration and $13,753 in expenses.

The total for all employees in 2010 was $652,250 in remuneration and $22,397 in expenses. Remuneration increased by about five per cent over the 2009 total of $619,567.

The auditor’s management letter attached to the audited financial statements points out that beginning in 2015, local governments will be required to account for all liabilities associated with contaminated sites. A Public Sector Accounting Board section establishes “recognition, measurement and disclosure standards for liabilities relating to contaminated sites of local governments,” the letter states.

It goes on to explain that one of the complexities of the standard is that it requires assessment of all properties “even if you do not know or suspect that there may be contamination. For a property that is non-contaminated, you will be required to document how you know that there are no issues with that property.”

Mac Fraser, regional district chief administrative officer, explained to directors at the May 19 committee-of-the-whole meeting that this is a requirement for all local governments. “We’re not being singled out,” he said. “We’ll do a full investigation of our liabilities on that before you enter into your budget process.”

In BC, a contaminated site is a previous industrial or commercial site of specific activity, Fraser explained. “In BC, responsibility for contaminated site remediation is incumbent upon a new owner, not an existing owner. So I have to do the homework about whether we actually have to advance or simply acknowledge that we might own a contaminated site. It doesn’t automatically infer that we have to take action.”

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