Fifteen employees of the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako (RDBN) earned more than $75,000 in 2019, and five of them earned more than $100,000. The combined earnings of the 15 employees in question represented nearly 39 per cent of the total remuneration of approximately $3.6 million paid to all RDBN employees according to the recently released 2019 Schedule of Employee Remuneration and Expenses report, which is available on the RDBN website.
Curtis Helgesen, who came in as the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) in July 2019, earned $78,018 with expenses $12,812 for his time serving at RDBN as the CAO in 2019.Melany de Weerdt, former CAO was the highest paid employee and earned $190,257.31 with $6,574.21 in expenses in 2018.
Cheryl Anderson, Jason Berlin, Jason Blackwell, Lenard Demarce, Janette Derksen, Curtis Helgesen, John Illes, Jason Llewellyn, Rory McKenzie, Laura O’Meara, Kristi Rensby, Rebecca Rodriguez, Maria Sandberg, Charlie Sherwood, and Richard Wainwright had combined wages and overtime totalling more than $1.48 million for the year ended Dec. 31, 2019.
Jason Llewellyn, the director of planning, was the highest paid employee, receiving $122,805.43 in wages and overtime, and another $4,480.31 in reimbursed expenses. Manager of Administrative Services Cheryl Anderson earned 119,656.01 and $12,857.97 in reimbursed expenses.
Rory McKenzie, the director of environmental services earned a total of $118,568.25 that included an expenses reimbursement of $3813.81. John Illes, the chief financial officer, had $117,265.49 in wages and $3,813.81 in expenses. Chief building inspector Richard Wainwright’s total remuneration was $111,862.74. His reimbursed expenses were $3,350.42.
Charlie Sherwood, operations foreman, received $96,739.34 and $2,658.70 in reimbursed expenses. Jason Berlin, who served as chief building inspector, received $91,991.58 and was given another $3,307.51 in expense money.
Lenard Demarce, landfill operator 2, received remuneration of $88,051.75, along with $9,772.44 for expenses incurred while on regional district business. Janette Derksen, deputy director of environmental services, earned $81,965.72 and expense claims amounting $3,617.05.
Rebecca Rodriguez, the acting protective services manager and Curtis Helgesen, the chief administrative officer, earned the total remuneration of $79,512.15 and $78,017.62 respectively, with an additional expenses reimbursement of $2,957.06 and $12,811.66 respectively. Senior Financial Assistant Laura O’Meara, Planner Maria Sandberg, and the Regional Fire Chief, all earned roughly the same amount in remuneration. Sandberg earned $76,938.64 in remuneration and was expensed for $2,658.70. Blackwell earned $76,923.10 in remuneration and was expensed for $3,528.77, while O’Meara earned $76,191 and had $4,083.31 in reimbursed expenses.
Rounding out the list of regional district employees earning more than $75,000 was finance or administration coordinator Kristi Rensby, who received $75,371.86, and was given another $2,658.70 in expense money. The earnings of employees who received less than $75,000 from the regional district last year amounted to $2,274,326.68, including expenses.
The Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine (RDKS), a neighbouring regional district of similar size, has ten employees that earned over $75,000 in 2019, totalling $1,047,227 – which is approximately $360,000 less than what was paid to employees earning over $75,000 in the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako. The highest wage – $88,869 – was paid to the RDKS administrator.