West Kelowna  

West Kelowna's civic payroll increased by less than three per cent, mainly due to a hiring freeze in 2020

Virus slows jump in wages

The City of West Kelowna paid significantly less in staff wages than it would have had there been no COVID-19 pandemic.

The pandemic, and the affects it had on residents after many businesses were forced to shut down, caused the city to slash its planned 2020 tax increase nearly in half, thereby eliminating a number of planned staff hirings.

That decision, and a significant decrease in expenses billed by employees, left the city with a payroll of slightly more than $19.4 million in 2020. That's less than three per cent more than the $18.9 million spent on wages in 2019.

The city also saved nearly $30,000 in council remuneration during 2020, much of that coming from fewer expenses due likely to conventions such as SILGA and UBCM being held remotely.

Figures released as part of the annual financial report required by each municipal government also showed the city spent $4.1 million less for goods and services in 2020, much of that due in part to municipal projects which were delayed due to budget cuts.

The report also shows a large increase in those employees earning more than $75,000. In 2020, 118 employees took over in excess of $75,000, 20 more than the previous year.

Sixty-two earned $100,000 or more, one more than in 2019.

The top 10 wage earners, along with allowable expenses, include:

  1. Paul Gipps, CAO - $236,711
  2. Tracey Batten, Deputy CAO/corporate officer - $199,280
  3. Allen Fillion, Director of engineering and public works - $173,457
  4. Sandra Webster, Director of corporate initiatives - $167,385
  5. Jason Brolund, Fire Chief - $167,298
  6. Warren Everton, CFO - $165,321
  7. Brent Watson, assistant fire chief, $155,042
  8. Mark Koch, director of development services - $150,554
  9. Michelle Reid, director of human resources - $148,051
  10. Todd Moore, firefighter captain - $145,137

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