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Majority of Nanaimo's top earners no longer at city hall

NANAIMO – Former city manager Ted Swabey dominated the list of high earners in 2015.

Former Nanaimo city manager Ted Swabey dominated the list of highest earners at city hall in 2015.

Swabey, now CAO for the City of Maple Ridge, topped the roster of the five-highest earners at city hall with pay of $240,716, according to the 2015 Statement of Financial Information, which lists employees with remuneration of more than $75,000.

City manager Tracy Samra did not crack the list of high-earning employees last year, making $18,337 in an interim capacity after taking over the job in November.

Among the top five highest earners, only one remains at city hall. Second-place earner Tom Hickey, took home $194,141, but had his position axed in a senior leadership team downsizing in December last year, and Toby Seward,  acting senior director of strategic operations, who made $184,269, has retired. Ian Howat, general manager of corporate services, with pay of $179,973, resigned to take a position with another municipality.Craig Richardson, fire chief, remains at the city and made $168,074 in 2015.

The report shows three fewer managers earned more than $75,000, but also an increase of 18 Canadian Union of Public Employees and nine International Association of Fire Fighters members. The city attributes the increase of CUPE employees to a city-wide job information questionnaire project that evaluated whether the staff were paid fairly in relation to one another, which resulted in retroactive pay increases for some.