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Municipal staff earning over $100,000 drops from 33 to 25

SOFI report presented to council this week shows CAO is top earner at $200,000

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The anomalies

Two employees dropped off the $100,000 plus list this year because they are participating in a self-funded leave program: John Rae, manager of strategic alliances marketing, and Michele Comeau, manager of communications.

Rae made $120,000 in 2011 and Comeau $103,000. This year the SOFI shows Rae at $97,000 and Comeau at $88,000.

Both Rae and Comeau are taking part in a leave program where they agree to have their salaries reduced over time and then they have a funded leave.

It's described as "a savings arrangement."

The Firefighters

Of the 77 employees who made more than $75,000 last year, 21 were firefighters.

That includes 16 Firefighter Inspectors, three Captains, the Fire Chief and the Assistant Fire Chief.

The RCMP

Payments to the RCMP also changed significantly in the SOFI from 2011 to 2012.

In 2011 the payment was for $3.1 million. The following year that payment was for $2.4 million.

The municipality explained that the 2011 costs included payments for 2010 RCMP costs.

The Lawyers

More than $3 million was funnelled out of municipal coffers and into legal fees in 2012.

The biggest payout by far went to Fasken Martineau DuMoulin at $2.6 million. That included the settlement for the Rainbow Park expropriation case, which had a $1.5 million in interest payment to the Saxton family of Vancouver.

Hordo, Bennett, Mounteer LLP was paid more than $221,000 for the work to cover the asphalt plant legal challenge.

Young Anderson was paid $219,000 for work primarily on the Official Community Plan. That plan is now being challenged by First Nations in the B.C. Supreme Court and Young Anderson will continue to represent Whistler's interests.

The asphalt plant paid $907,000

Alpine Paving, which operates the Whistler and Squamish asphalt plants, was paid more than $907,000 in 2012.

While the annual road and trail reconstruction budget was $666,000, Alpine Paving made more money in smaller contracts not included in that budget, such as the Lakeside Park parking lot and the Blackcomb water main replacement.

All the asphalt for the work was trucked from Squamish as per municipal requirements that the asphalt cannot be made within three kilometres of residences, effectively cutting out the Whistler plant in Cheakamus Crossing.

On Tuesday night council received a report from staff outlining a staff recommendation to award the 2014 road and trail reconstruction program to Alpine Paving. Whistler received two bids in the tender process. Alpine's was the low bid at $328,000, $20,000 less than Keywest Asphalt in Surrey.

Keywest Asphalt, however, was recently awarded a $1.1 million contract from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure for asphalt resurfacing for miscellaneous areas on Highway 99 from Whistler to Pemberton and Squamish Valley Road.

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