There are fewer public servants making the big bucks at Whistler's municipal hall these days, perhaps an indication of council's firm hand on the public purse.
The annual glimpse into the public pay packets reveal that 25 employees made more than $100,000 in 2012, down from 33 the previous year. Retirements, severances, and those who simply moved on to other opportunities impacted this list.
That has affected the bottom line too, as total salaries — including Employment Insurance, Canada Pensions Plan, health benefits and taxes, and taxable benefits — paid by taxpayers dropped $935,000, from $25.5 million in 2011 to $24.6 million last year.
"It's such a superficial look at the operations of the municipality so it's hard to read anything into it," said Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden of the annual Statements of Financial Information (SOFI) that every local government must submit to the province within six months of the end of the fiscal year.
While the mayor said the SOFI report can be read in a "superficial and gossipy" manner, the annual alphabetical run down of all public employees making more than $75,000 captured the town's attention in recent years when "the list" jumped from 69 to 78 in the Olympic year, up from 61 in 2008.
This year 77 employees made "the list," down from 79.
(The mayor earns $77,628 while councillors earn around $32,000)
The SOFI also reveals that there were two severances during the 2012 fiscal year with agreements for 60 weeks and nine months of compensation based on salary and benefits.
"This particular council... has taken budgetary constraints very seriously," added the mayor. "We've been doing what we can to ensure savings while maintaining levels of service and that's reflected to a certain extent in the SOFI report."
The SOFI also includes an alphabetical list of all suppliers who were paid more than $25,000.
The RMOW paid out $44.3 million to suppliers from BC Hydro to the Royal Bank of Canada. That's up from $42.6 million the previous year. The numbers however are not a true reflection of costs.
The SOFI legislation requires a list of payments during the report year, which may be different than the year in which the expense was incurred.
BC Transit, for example, was paid $7.1 million in 2012 and $4.3 million in 2011, a reflection of the way the legislation works and not an increase in costs.
Whistler's SOFI was presented to council Tuesday night. It can be seen in full at www.whistler.ca.
The top earners
The list shows the shakeup at the highest staffing levels at the hall over the last two years.
In 2011 CAO Bill Barratt was the top earner at $216,000. He retired that year and was replaced by Mike Furey in September. Furey made the 2012 list as top earner at $200,000.
For the past two years Keith Bennett was next on the list at $169,000 as the CEO of Whistler Sports Legacies. Bennett has since retired, replaced by Roger Soane this year, who is now paid through the Whistler Sport Legacies and not the RMOW.
The 2012 SOFI also shows how staffing at the general-manager level has changed in the last year.
In 2011 there were five general managers, with all but one earning more than $150,000.
In 2012 there are three general managers on the list, with two — Jan Jansen, GM of resort experience, and Bob MacPherson, GM of community life — earning more than $150,000.