The number of District of Mission staffers earning more than $75,000 rose by nearly 30 per cent last year to 57, up from 44 in 2013.
The district released its 2014 statement of financial information report last week, which is required under provincial law to include a list of employees earning more than $75,000.
For the three previous years, the number of employees earning more than $75,000 in remuneration stayed consistent at 44.
In 2011 and 2012, the number of staff making more than $100,000 was 21. That decreased slightly in 2013, with only 18 staffers making six-figure salaries.
Last year, that number rose to 25.
The city’s highest earner in 2014 was chief administrative officer Ken Bjorgaard, who earned $191,255. In February, Bjorgaard’s contract was terminated. He was replaced by Ron Poole, who had served as CAO for the District of Kitimat.
The next highest earner last year was director of development services Mike Younie ($141,731), followed by manager of finance Kris Boland ($139,055); director of parks, recreation and culture Maureen Sinclair ($136,467); and director of forest management Robert O’Neal ($130,710).
Ten staff members on the list – or 17.5 per cent – were firefighters, who earned between $82,317 and $126,139.
Mayor Randy Hawes, who was elected in November 2014, said some of the increases are likely related to overtime costs for firefighters. He added that there has been a “huge amount of staff turnover” at the district in the last couple of years, which probably also led to overtime costs for other staff members.
He said that exempt staff haven’t had a raise in about four years, “so it’s not like it’s an increase in salaries.”
Hawes said no elected officials in any city look forward to big staffing cost increases and it is monitored closely.
Former mayor Ted Adlem earned $65,156 in 2014, from January until November, when he lost his re-election bid. He also had $5,005 in expenses.
The district spent about $15.8 million on remuneration for all of its staff and elected officials in 2014, an increase of $670,249 from 2013.
According to Hawes, the district has about 250 employees and a total budget of just over $40 million.
The full list can be found in the council agenda at www.mission.ca.