Fire, police chiefs earn top compensation, report says

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The City of Brandon’s highest-paid employees in 2021 all have something in common: they’re involved with emergency services.

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The City of Brandon’s highest-paid employees in 2021 all have something in common: they’re involved with emergency services.

On Monday, the city released its annual compensation disclosure report, listing every municipal employee who made more than $75,000 as well as salaries for members of Brandon City Council.

In the 2020 report, issued last year, the highest-paid city employee was former city manager Rod Sage, who made the list with total compensation of more than $200,000 despite not doing any work for the city in the wake of his leave of absence and subsequent retirement after a woman overdosed at his home in 2019.

Deveryn Ross says closed-door meetings at Brandon City Hall must come to an end. (File)

Every annual report lists the amount each employee was paid in base salary, how much money they earned from other sources, such as overtime payments, and their total compensation for the calendar year.

Though the document does not list the names of any Brandon Police Service officers, the “police chief” — referring to Chief Wayne Balcaen — topped the compilation with total compensation of $189,286.

In second place, with total compensation of $180,141.52, was fire Chief Scott McDonald. Rounding out the top three on the list is the “police deputy chief” — referring to deputy chief Randy Lewis — who received a total compensation of $170,368.27.

One staff member received a decrease in pay. Dean Hammond, the city treasurer who acted as city manager following Sage’s departure and before the arrival of Ron Bowles, made $160,094.89 in 2021 compared to $186,425.21 in 2020 — likely due to his extra duties coming to an end.

Bowles, who started work as the new permanent city manager last May, made $130,444.13 in 2021.

In total, 293 municipal staff members made this year’s list, representing total compensation of $31,744,790.29. On the list were 90 Brandon Police Service staff, 63 firefighters, 20 911 emergency communications workers and 14 water or wastewater treatment operators, among others.

The average salary for an employee on the list was $107,975.48, while the median salary was slightly less at $105,804.28.

Among members of Brandon City Council, Mayor Rick Chrest received the most compensation at $104,076.07 — approximately $300 more than he received in 2020.

Coun. Glen Parker (Riverdale) received the highest compensation among councillors at $26,707.86.

That’s followed by councillors Shawn Berry (Linden Lanes) at $23,725.95, Kris Desjarlais (Rosser) at $23,405.95, Bruce Luebke (South Centre) at $22,747.98, Jeff Fawcett (Assiniboine) at $22,385.95, Shaun Cameron (University) and Jan Chaboyer (Green Acres) both at $22,045.95 and Coun. Barry Cullen (Victoria) at $21,958.91.

Coun. Ron Brown (Richmond), who has been on leave due to medical issues since May 2021, received compensation worth $7,464.80.

In February 2021, former councillor John LoRegio retired from council and was only compensated with $2,138.09 that year. His successor, Coun. Sunday Frangi (Meadows-Waverly), who was elected in a byelection in May 2021, earned $14,649.62 last year.

Members of city council earned a combined total of $313,353.08 last year, down from the $340,357.22 they earned in 2020. The difference is at least in part due to absences from council.

By Manitoba law, all public sector bodies — the provincial government, government agencies and publicly funded bodies — must report the compensation received by employees, board members or chairpersons within six months of the end of the fiscal or calendar year.

» cslark@brandonsun.com

» Twitter: @ColinSlark

History

Updated on Wednesday, June 29, 2022 11:09 AM CDT: Corrected the number of 911 dispatch workers listed in the report.

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