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Salaries comparable to other regional districts, says RDN

According to its 2013 statement of financial information, 20 employees of the Regional District of Nanaimo earned salaries north of $100,000 in 2013.

Paul Thorkelsson, regional district chief administrative officer, had the highest earnings, making approximately $208,388, an increase over the $163,036 he earned in 2012 when he was general manager of strategic and community development.

Carol Mason, Thorkelsson’s predecessor who left for a position with Metro Vancouver, made around $154,386 in 2012, although she would’ve made an estimated $205,000 if she had remained for the whole year, according to Wendy Idema, regional district finance director.

Tom Osborne, general manager of recreation and parks services, had the second-highest salary, earning approximately about $151,835. He made about $145,027 in 2012.

Thorkelsson and Osborne’s expenses totalled about $9,931 and $3,065 in 2013 respectively.

In comparison, Sukh Gill, chief administrative officer of the Thompson-Nicola Regional District, whose is population is comparable to the Nanaimo district, made $186,221 in 2013. Ron Storie, Thompson-Nicola’s manager of community services, made $98,333 in 2013.

Idema said Nanaimo regional district contracts are negotiated and while raises are offered – with board approval – performance bonuses are not.

“We use a process where they go out and compare to the market kind of thing,” Idema said of wage rates. “I know that they look at ranges of wages ... we look at comparatives.”

In all, employee wages totalled about $22.35 million in 2013. That’s up from $20.98 million in 2012.

Of regional district board members, Joe Stanhope, Area G director and board chairman, received the highest remuneration with a total of about $41,128 in 2013.

Amongst Nanaimo directors, Diane Brennan received total stipend of about $12,940 in 2013 while Ted Greves received about $12,630; Jim Kipp approximately $12,500; Diana Johnstone about $12,470; Bill Bestwick $11,860; John Ruttan $11,370; and George Anderson $11,750.

Directors received a flat rate of $11,230 in 2013 for attending four meetings a month and additionally were remunerated for attending committee meetings.

Anderson had the highest expense list among Nanaimo directors, totalling about $613 while Ruttan had the least with about $159.

For the regional district’s statements of financial information, please visit www.rdn.bc.ca.

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