Posted March 31, 2015
The 2015 Sunshine List contains some revealing figures. For example, four senior staff members left city employment in 2014. Of that number, three were resignations while the remaining senior staffer’s departure is unknown and believed to be a case for termination.
Keep in mind that the figures are split in two, Salary and taxable benefits. In this case only the slary figures are used.
Let’s start with the resignation of former Police Chief, Bryan Larkin. whose last day spent as head of Guelph police services was August 31, 2014. He had accepted the job of chief of the Waterloo Regional Police Department. Presumably he went on the payroll in his new job, September 1.
The Sunshine list shows that Larkin was paid $181,930 by Guelph for his eight months working for the city in 2014.
By dividing $181,930 by 12, the former chief’s monthly rate was $15,160.
But he only worked for eight months and should have received $121,280 for his service. That indicates Mr. Larkin was overpaid by $60,650. At the same time, he was drawing his Waterloo chief’s salary for the remaining four months of 2014.
How did this happen? Even if it was a contractual issue, it should not have happened. The man gave notice two months notice ahead of leaving and there was no doubt he resigned. Larkin was chief for about three years. Was handing him a bonus of $60,650 represent some sort of pay back for promises made and pledges of support?
What kind of message does this send to the police rank and file and other city employees? What’s good for the goose isn’t good for the gander?
In addition, the former chief breached the Ontario Police Act by publicly supporting former Mayor Farbridge before he left his job. Draw your own conclusions.
But wait, there’s more.
Executive Director Janet Laird, longtime friend of the former mayor, resigned right after the election and left. She received $189,865 plus a taxable benefit of $6,271. She worked 10 months in 2014. That indicates her monthly salary was $15,822. That’s a total final pay of $158,220, a difference of $31,648.
Executive Director Derek McCaughan, also left, following the election, for reasons that are unclear. The List showed he received $180,824 plus $8,030 in taxable benefits. At that rate, his monthly salary was $15,068 so his final pay should have been $150,686 for the months served. That’s a difference of $30,138.
Those senior staff peers, who worked the 12 months, were reported as earning similar annual salaries as Ms. Laird and Mr. McCaughan. Deputy CAO Mark Amorosi earned $182,761; Deputy CAO Al Horsman, 182,761; Deputy CAO Derrick Thomson $173,720.
The fourth senior staffer who resigned, Chief Librarian, Kathleen Pope, received $141,271 plus taxable benefits of $577. Unfortunately, her departure date is unknown. She resigned to take on the Windsor public library system.
There may have been some minor statutory adjustments made by the financial department at city hall and police headquarters, prior to the four leaving. One may have been payment for unused sick leave or vacation. Why are employees paid twice just to show up when they retire or resign? That’s a question citizens should be asking,
If an employee does not use his or her sick leave allowance in a given year, then it should not be rolled over and accumulated. Former Guelph police Chief Rob Davis did just that when he retired receiving $42,000 because during his tour of duty he was rarely sick,
Regardless, how can the citizens understand that when you resign, you get paid for service after you leave? That’s what happened in the three cases above, they were paid for work they didn’t perform.
The Larkin case is the most serious. Theoretically, he made more money in 2014, for eight months work, than Chief Administrative Officer, Ann Pappert who worked the full 12 months.
Here is the comparison of the two key employees for the first eight months of the year.
Larkin received $181,930. Ms. Pappert received the equivalent of $146,438 in the eight months of 2014. That’s a difference of $35,492.
Is it any wonder why the people defeated the former mayor and some of her supporters with this kind of treatment of retiring senior officials? Is it part of the sense of entitlement that some senior staff appears to possess?
It is also about the growing concern of citizens that its civic staff costs are out of control particularly when compared to peer group municipalities. More on this later.
Mr. Larkin should return the four months pay he received after leaving the city’s employment August 31, 2014.
Citizens deserve to be told all of the details of these senior staff resignations.