It may have been a gloomy year for many workers impacted by the pandemic but more city employees made the so-called sunshine list in 2020 than ever before.
The City of New Westminster’s 2020 statement of financial information shows that 296 employees had remuneration of $75,000 or more in 2020. That’s an increase from the 283 employees who made the list a year earlier.
As was the case in 2019, Lisa Spitale, chief administrative officer, was the top earner in 2020, taking home $238,933.
Joining Spitale in the $200,000 club in 2020 were Rod Carle, general manager of the city’s electrical utility ($209,864), and Dean Gibson, director of parks and recreation, ($202,627).
Another 20 city employees topped the $150,000 mark in 2020. Jim Lowrie, who has since retired as the city’s director of engineering, led the way at $195,983, followed by Fire Chief Tim Armstrong at $194,802.
Surpassing the $180,000 mark were: Richard Fong, director of human resources, ($186,667); Terry Atherton, manager of civic buildings and properties ($186,057); and Emilie Adin, director of development services ($185,651).
Next in line were Pierre Gaudreault, manager of the electrical utility, at $178,973, and Michael Nash, manager of electrical services, at $168,828.
Also topping the $160,000 mark in 2020 were: Alvin Chok, chief information officer, at $163,208; Steve Kellock, senior manager of recreation services and facilities, at $162,092; Bruce Zelter, assistant deputy fire chief, at $161,121; Rob Dick, assistant deputy fire chief, at $160,326; and Craig MacFarlane, city solicitor, at $160,118.
Eight other employees, including a trio of employees from the fire department, earned more than $150,000: deputy fire chief Curtis Bremner – $156,859; senior manager of development services Jackie Teed – $156,113; manager of engineering operations (now retired) Dave Cole – $155,963; chief librarian Julie Spurrell – $152,375; assistant deputy fire chief Erin Williams – $151,897; powerline technician Colin Milaney – $151,726; and the fire department’s chief training officer Jeffery Gill – $151,097.
Lorraine Lyle, who served as the city’s acting director of finance during the early months of the pandemic, had remuneration of $150,277.
In addition to the 23 employees who topped the $150,000 threshold, 273 other employees made the 2020 list of employees earning more than $75,000 in 2020. This included 154 who earned between $100,000 and $149,999 and 119 who made between $75,000 and $99,999.
All totalled, the city paid remuneration of $33 million to employees earning $75,000 or more last year, as well as $22.6 million for all other employees (excluding sworn members of the New Westminster Police Department), for a total of $56.6 million in remuneration. That was a decrease from the $57.1-million tab for employees in 2019.
As a result of COVID-19, facilities and programs were closed or operating at reduced capacity in 2020. In response to the pandemic, the city notified 601 auxiliary employees that they were no longer going to be scheduled for paid work after April 17, 2020.
In addition to a drop in the amount of remuneration paid out to employees in 2020, compared to the year before, the amount of money spent on city business expenses also decreased. It went from $600,067 for all employees (other than police officers) in 2019 down to $220,451 in 2020.