Tag Archives: management salaries

Former CAO Ann Pappert received $489,818 for 17 months work when she resigned

By Gerry Barker

March 16, 2017

I woke up the other day to read a city press release about the City of Guelph’s Sunshine list of employees earning more than $100,000 a year. I was not aware the city had its own Sunshine list.

There were some astonishing inclusions and exclusions.

According to the just released 2016 Provincial Sunshine list, former Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), Ann Pappert, was paid $263,757.32 in 2016. Now you would assume that was for the year but Ms. Pappert left the city May 26, 2016, Seems like a lot of money for less than five months work.

So I checked the 2015 Provincial Sunshine list and it showed Ms. Pappert was paid $226,060.96.

The only possible conclusion was that Ann Pappert was paid $489,818.26 for 17 months work as CAO, from January 1, 2015 to May 26, 2016.

This was reported by the city to the Province for inclusion in the 2015/2016 official Sunshine lists of those public employees earning more than $100,000 a year

First, let’s do a little math. We’ll divide the money the Province says she received in 2016 by 5 = $52,757 per month. Now multiply that by 12 to determine what her annual salary would be, $633,084. That can’t be possible.

But, the 2015 salary reported last March showed that CAO, Ann Pappert, received a $37,591 increase for 2015. This increase was 17.11 per cent more than her previous base salary of $219,657 earned in 2014. Apparently, it has been assumed, Ms. Pappert was paid $257,248 in 2015. That was not the case. According to the 2015 Sunshine List, she received $226,060.

Hmmm, there remains a serious difference of Ms. Pappert’s employment payments.

Deputy Chief Administrative Officer (DCAO) Mark Amorosi explained that the payment to Ms. Pappert was discussed in closed session prior to the approval of the 2015 budget, March 25, 2015.

For the past year, guelphspeaks has been trying to get at the truth because Mr. Amorosi said the increases decision was made by council in closed session, December 10, 2015. It included a retroactive payment of some $28,000.

Why does the Sunshine List show Ms. Pappert received $263,757 for five months work in 2016?

Does the city report what it pays its employees each year in the audited Financial Information Report (FIR) as required annually?

Or does it play games shoving expenses to the next year to avoid a negative variance that the city is not allowed to do and is required to balance its books when presenting the FIR at year end.

For the past five years of Ms. Pappert’s tenure as CAO, there has been a negative variance each year. That means the budget, of which Ms. Pappert oversaw, was overspent and money was taken from the reserves to balance the books as required by law.

Trouble is the reserves became seriously depleted dropping from a reported $70 million in 2009 to around $11 million in 2015. The BMA consultant group warned the city in 2014 that the reserves were in a “red flag” condition and required action to replenish.

Why was this allowed to occur?

But there is more:

Former Chief Financial Officer, Al Horsman, left the city in August 2015. Today his name shows up receiving $188,999 in 2016, the equivalent of a full year on the job. Not bad for eight months work … in 2015. The question is why did Horsman leave? He was deposed as CFO in the November 2014 reorganization of the senior management and switched to the Waste Management, Environmental Services and Engineering portfolio.

Horsman took over to discover the debacle of the deal made with the Rizzo brothers of Detroit to recycle material shipped from the motor city. The deal fell apart and was reported to have cost Guelph some $2.5 million. In December 2015, Solid Waste Manager Dean Wyman, who was involved in the Detroit deal, left for a similar job in Edmonton.

With Horsman gone, it left just three Senior managers, CAO Ann Pappert, Deputy Chief Administrative Officers (DCAO) Mark Amorosi and Derrick Thomson.

The revelation of the large increase awarded by council to the remaining three top managers in March 2016, triggered the resignation of Mr. Thomson who said he was taking a job with the Town of Caledon. In April, Ms. Pappert announced she was resigning.

Along with her duties as CAO, Ms. Pappert was also Chief Executive Officer of Guelph Municipal Holdings Inc (GMHI), for four years. As CAO she signed off, along with her successor at GMHI, Pankaj Sardana the jointly presented the report to council, acting as shareholders, May 16, 2016. It revealed that the city-owned GMHI was broke and had lost $26.6 million. Ten days later she left her job.

In June, the city persuaded Mr. Thomson to return and take over as CAO.

The 2016 Provincial Sunshine List states Mr. Thomson received $214,026. Due to turbulence in the executive offices, Mr. Thomson revealed in October his new CAO salary is $230,000, plus a taxable benefit of $9,664. Sigh! The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Last week, the 2016 city’s “Sunshine List” release said that in 2016 Mr. Thomson earned $245,302 plus the taxable benefit for a total of $254,966. Mr.Thomson should be commended for giving the citizens his salary details despite the fact that they do not jibe with the official provincial data.

Here’s another strange development. DCAO Scott Stewart was hired in November 2015 to replace Mr. Horsman. There is no record in the provincial Sunshine Lists of his hiring including pay details, in either the 2015 or 2016. He obviously performed his duties in 2015 and 2016 but the record shows he doesn’t exist. Well he does and he is doing a fine job.

Yet another example of Voodoo accounting

In the case of DCAO Colleen Clack who was promoted in June to replace Mr. Thomson as chief of operations and public transit, there is no evidence that reflects her new responsibilities. She is listed at $145,316, the rate of her former job in 2015.

I believe that when someone holds a job in the calendar year, his or her remuneration should be reported in that year. How can the administration budget accurately when it conducts its business this way? We’re not talking about a few dollars here but thousands. It represents a deliberate distortion of the staff costs in the reporting year.

In 2015 the city listed the payments made to police staff earning more than $100,000. This year according to the city release, the police are not included because they file their own Sunshine List to the Province. But are the police numbers included in the total staff count?

Finally here is my favourite example of Voodoo management practices.

In 2014, Guelph Police Chief Bryan Larkin is pushing the Police Services Board to spend $33 million for a major renovation of police headquarters.

The city representatives on the Police Board, Mayor Karen Farbridge and Coun Leanne Piper support him.

Remember in June 2014 he announced that he is leaving August 31 to take over as Chief of the Region of Waterloo Police Department.

That did not stop Larkin from promoting that the city coughs up the money for the renovation. So his final payout of $183,553.80 was reported in the 2015 provincial Sunshine list. He only worked eight months in 2014, but received a full year of pay,

But citizens in 2015, were also paying his replacement, Jeff Deruyter $188,283.56. According to the Provincial Sunshine List in 2015, the cost of two police chiefs was $371,836.

When the 2015 budget was prepared after Mayor Guthrie took over, the finance department had ample time to adjust the 2014 Larkin figure to reflect the exact time he was on the job. It is now clear that our city, despite the fact that he resigned in August 2014, paid him for the whole year.

And you wonder why our taxes and user fees outpace the Consumer Price Indexes promised to be reduced by Mayor Guthrie in his election campaign.

The 64 firemen plus those paramedics in the $100K bracket are included in the 2016 list.

These folks are public employees and the public has the right to know who they are and what they earn if it’s more than $100,000. It appears the same rules do not apply to the non-union managerial staff.

When comparing the two Sunshine lists, 2015 and 2016, the number of employees who have left the city also struck me.

The city release states there are 2,235 full-time and part-time employees. But what is the composition of staff and where do they work? How many full-time and part-time contract workers are employed and are they counted in the staff total?

This mismanagement of senior staff salaries, bonuses and taxable benefits has to stop. It is not transparent or accountable.

The people have to act to hold their elected representatives accountable. That means the council must stop conducting the city’s business in closed sessions thwarting the public’s right to know. Finally they must stop making stupid decisions that end up costing citizens its treasure.

The reserves are depleted, the debt is up and too many deals have been made based on potential future revenues such as the Police Headquarters project that is dependent on future development fees.

I hate to use the word “purge” but it applies here based on the evidence of financial mismanagement.


Filed under Between the Lines

Why Guelph’s legacy of irresponsible management continues an ongoing financial crisis

By Gerry Barker

April 8, 2016

When Deputy Chief Administrative Officer(DCAO), Mark Amorosi, says his department conducted a market review of senior management salaries, turns out the three top management staffers looked after their own salary increases in 2015.

Comparing the Guelph Sunshine List, (reporting public employees earning more tha $100,000 a year), to other similar-sized communities, it is apparent that the so-called market review to estimate what senior managers should be awarded, turned out to be self-serving, flawed and manipulated.

The evidence now is the admission by Coun. Karl Wettstien that council had no control of challenging the salary increases of any employee under the rank of Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), Ann Pappert.

Does this elevate the CAO to a position that she runs the operations of a $382 million budget with no recourse, no objection, no public input, and no control involving the public interest?

This is yet another hangover from the previous administration. Two people for the past five years have run our city, former Mayor Karen Farbridge and her hand-picked lieutenant, Ann Pappert.

Here’s how Ms. Pappert’s 2015 salary of $257,248 compares to Kingston’s CAO, Gerard Hunt, who was paid $215,764 or $41,484 less than the Guelph CAO. Or take Kitchener’s CAO Jeff Willmer, who earned $213,029 or $44,219 less than Ms. Pappert.

So what basis was there to award Ms. Pappert with a 17.11 per cent increase in 2015? Mark Amorosi claims there was a market review, comparing salaries of CAO’s. The report must have left out the two most obvious municipal comparisons, Kingston and Kitchener.

The pattern of control by the council dominated Bloc of Seven

The Bloc of Seven, seven councillors elected in 2014, controlling the council follows the policies of the former leadership of the left, the defeated mayor of Guelph, Karen Farbridge. She set the rules to establish tight control of the administration. Her followers elected to council, slavishly follows her direction and vote to support her strategies, policies and financial management.

After eight years, it resulted in a monumental financial disaster called Urbacon that cost the city $8.96 million to settle.. It cost her and some councillors their jobs. The fallout was the comparison of Guelph’s operational and capital costs in 2014 that were 50 per cent higher that either Cambridge or Kitchener.

Today, the remnants of these destructive policies are the same old gang trying to prevent any reform or reduction of costs.

Guelph has 12 general managers whose responsibilities and salaries vary by the scope of responsibility. Here is the list of general managers, their salary and taxable benefits in descending order:

Kealy Dedman – GM Engineering and Capital Infrastructure –      $170,637 – $756

Donna Jaques – GM Legal Services city solicitor                                   $158 997 – $1,667

Todd Salter – GM Planning, Urban design, Building Services         $157,978 – $767

Peter Cartright – GM Business Development and Enterprise         $153,997 – $3,467

Peter Busatto – Plant Manager Water Services                                      $152,188 – $699

Rodney Keller – GM operations                                                                   $142,491 – $4,299

Colleen Clack – GM Culture Tourism, Community Investment      $142,017 – $1,599

David Goodwaldt – GM Human Resources                                               $140,003 – $699

Kristene Scott – GM Parks and Recreation                                               $140,003 – $699

Phil Meagher – GM Guelph Transit                                                             $137,566 – $676

Mario Petricevic – GM Facilities Management                                       $127,206 – $2,435

Laszlo Petroczi – GM Guelph Junction Railroad                                     $110,448 – $538

In 2015, the city staff had 15 senior managers including the top three. Take another look at that list. There is no general manager of finances let alone a Chief Financial Officer (CFO). For more than 15 months, Guelph has been without a CFO. Instead, DCAO Mark Amorosi, head of Corporate Services, assumed responsibility for financial management.

Two budget cycles and still no CFO

Under Amorosi’s watch, we have gone through two General Managers of Finance and currently the vacant position is being filled with an in-house senior financial staffer. What more evidence do we need that Mr. Amorosi, who holds no accredited financial background, is out of his depth managing the city’s finances? Couple that with the chair of the finance committee, June Hofland, whose financial background consists of being a former bank teller.

These two people are managing the finances of a $500 million corporation with an annual budget of $382 million. The past three years management has overspent its budget by and average of more than a million dollars. Because the city must report a balanced budget to the province, raiding the reserves covers up the budget excesses.

Also, missing from the list are those employees of Guelph Municipal Holdings Inc (GMHI) who earned more than $100,000 in 2015. Only one shows up as GM of Guelph Junction Railroad that is part of GMHI. There are no Sunshine List salaries from Guelph Hydro or Envada Corporation, also components of GMHI. These employees are paid from the public purse but not included in the Sunshine list. The revenue backbone of GMHI is Guelph Hydro. So when GMHI sends a $1.5 million dividend back to the city, it comes, indirectly, from your Hydro payments.

Since GMHI was formed by the previous administration, it has lost money but paid dividends totaling $9 million to the city general revenues. In 2014 alone, $1.5 million was delivered to the city while the financial statement of GMHI showed a loss of $2.8 million. There will be a report of GMHI due in June that could reveal other loses. (GS will have more on this subject later). In the the recent GMHI reorganization, the board was replaced with more council oversight of its activities.

DCAO Amorosi’s area of responsibilities also includes the annual human resources report in which he reports the full-time staff is 1,275. What it leaves out are some 45 per cent of employees paid from the public purse including part timers, contractors, police, fire and EMS.

A further subverting of the public interest is the use of closed sessions of council. These meetings are secret and participants are warned that they cannot discuss the closed sessions.

This is how those three super-sized salary increases to Pappert, Amorosi and Thomson were not revealed for a year after the council approved. The only reason the public found out was the provincial 2015 Sunshine List revealed the increases, not the city.

It’s time to put a stop to our city being held hostage by the same people who caused the operational problems accumulated in the past eight years.

Let’s take back our city.



Filed under Between the Lines