Curious Midlander Vol:7 Salaries, Non Disclosure & Parkland For Sale Again?
All levels of government have an obligation to be open and transparent and accountable to their taxpayers. One of the ways that Municipal Government follows this direction is by submitting the annual wages of employees who earn more than $100,000 to the Province which then publishes this information on all municipalities in Ontario.
Whether or not the municipal employees are paid as regular employees or by contract should make no difference in reporting the annual wages since these staff are still being paid by taxpayers dollars regardless if they are reimbursed by regular wages or by a contract.
We have been curious why the Town of Midland Senior staff (and Council) did not submit all the staff positions who earned more than $100,000 in 2017 as reported in our last edition. Our curiosity has been deepened by the CAO threatening to take legal action and the subsequent comments from Councilor Pat File questioning why/how the CAO could take such “unauthorized” action? Why not release this information if the Town of Midland has nothing to hide? By not being forthcoming with this information only increases our curiosities.
We know Midland’s CAO is under a contract with the Town through the Ontario Municipal Leadership Institute at a 2016 rate of $180,000 which includes eight weeks of time off annually. We also are aware of at least two other staff positions who are under a contract who’s wages are not included in the 2017 “Sunshine List”.
The following information has been obtained from the Province’s Sunshine List for the CAO’s in Simcoe County:
$196,237 Bradford-West Gwillimbury
$188,546 New Tecumseth
$185,024 Wasaga Beach
$169,197 Tiny Township
$141,060 Tay Township
$138,286 Severn Township
$114,464 Essa Township
For some unknown reason, there is no 2017 wage for the CAO reported for Collingwood. We have not included Barrie and Orillia since these are separated cities. CAO salaries (like other municipal staff positions) are based on many factors such as years of service, education, population, responsibilities, performance appraisals, etc.) usually on a wage grid system that has rated/scored each staff position.
In addition to full and complete reporting on the annual salaries, we are curious to find out the numbers of full time employees (both regular salaried and contract staff) the Town of Midland currently has in 2018 as compared with 2015. The recent posting and hiring of at least five new staff positions have tweaked our curiosity, particularly when Midland Council had adopted a “hiring freeze” policy a few years ago. With the expanded Treasury and IT departments, surely someone could pull together this information and make it public so the Town can be open, transparent and accountable?
A few years ago, Council created much controversy by selling parkland in Edgehill Park. The public survey for the Town’s Parks and Trails Master Plan asked the question if the Town should consider selling parkland. Why was this question even part of this survey? Surely the Town is not serious about selling more parkland after the Edgehill Park fiasco? Another curiosity….
Our final curiosity for this edition is when will the members of the current Council let the taxpayers know which of them will be running for the new Council, to be elected this fall? Mayor McKay has already publicly stated he is not running again so why have the other current members not declared their interest (or lack thereof)?