Salaries comparable to other regional districts, says RDN

NANAIMO – Twenty employees of the Regional District of Nanaimo earned salaries north of $100,000 in 2013.

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