Board salary and expenses for 2016 were presented at Tuesday’s committee of the whole meeting. (BLACK PRESS file photo)

Regional District of Nanaimo releases statement of financial information

Regional District of Nanaimo board chairman Bill Veenhof was the top earner and spender in 2016

Regional District of Nanaimo board chairman and Bowser-area rep Bill Veenhof was the top earner and spender in 2016, according to the latest statement of financial information.

Board salary and expenses for 2016 were presented at Tuesday’s committee of the whole meeting and according to the report, Veenhof made $50,647, with expenses of $13,933.

Mileage accounted for much of Veenhof’s expenses, he said.

“All of us, have to be at the RDN … obviously for the formal public meetings, but also for regular discussions with staff and so on and … that takes mileage and because we’re all separated from the RDN by some distances, myself the most, it chews into mileage expenses, but then it’s the price of doing business I suppose,” said Veenhof.

Alec McPherson, Cedar-area director, and Howard Houle, Gabriola Island-area director, were remunerated $31,722 and $31,765, with expenses of $9,236 and $6,673 respectively.

Expenses can include costs for conference attendance, such as the Union of B.C. Municipalities and Federation of Municipalities, mileage for regional district-related meetings and for purchasing technology.

In an email, Wendy Idema, regional district finance director, said municipal directors receive a base director allowance, while electoral area directors get a supplemental allowance.

Former Lantzville director Colin Haime was compensated $14,630 and all Nanaimo directors received similar remuneration. Mayor Bill McKay received $15,283; Bill Bestwick, $14,513; Jim Kipp, $14,263; Jerry Hong, $14,543; former director Wendy Pratt, $14,973; Ian Thorpe $14,593; and Bill Yoachim, $13,703.

Expenses for the municipal directors ranged between $50 and $340.

Dennis Trudeau, general manager of transportation and emergency services, had top earnings among district staff, with just over $204,239. Trudeau served much of 2016 as acting chief administrative officer following the resignation of Paul Thorkelsson in December 2015.

Phyllis Carlyle, current CAO, was not included as she started her post in October and didn’t reach the $75,000 threshold for required financial reporting.

reporter@nanaimobulletin.com