As required under provincial regulation, Creston town council received a report on salaries and expenses at the May 24 regular council meeting.
Finance director Steffan Klassen presented a report on staff and elected officials’ salaries and expenses as part of a package of financial information. It includes a schedule summarizing all council salaries and expenses, and the nine town employees who earn more than $75,000.
“Councillors’ remunerations differ slightly based on the number of events each councillor attends as an official representative of the Town of Creston,” Mayor Ron Toyota told the Advance in an interview. “Expenses vary according to attendance at out-of-town functions. Last year, for instance, Coun. Jim Elford represented Creston at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities in Edmonton, which accounts for him having the highest expenses. This year, no member of town council attended the FCM conference in Winnipeg.”
Council remuneration shows town councillors earning between $13,125 and $14,125, with the mayor’s salary at $24,449. Expenses claimed for 2015 were: Kevin Boehmer, $4,056; Jen Comer, $4,461; Elford, $7,966; Joe Snopek, $3,136; Ron Toyota, $1,988; Karen Unruh, $4,296; and Joanna Wilson, $3,670. (Note: Many of Toyota’s expenses are paid by other sources, including the Regional District of Central Kootenay, the Municipal Finance Authority and others. He also receives a salary from the RDCK as Creston’s regional director.)
Staff listed with salaries exceeding $75,000 are: municipal services director (also approving officer, chief building official) Ross Beddoes, ($134,529), executive assistant Bev Caldwell ($94,378), engineering manager Colin Farynowski ($123,090), finance and corporate services director Steffan Klassen ($128,677), Creston Fire Rescue Chief Michael Moore ($108,866), fleet supervisor Keith Ostendorf ($81,001), works superintendent Ferninand Schmidt ($109,265), waste water treatment plant chief operator Toby Todaro ($100,908) and town manager Lou Varela ($139,022).
“Ross Beddoes’ salary reflects his additional responsibilities in recent years after other full-time positions were eliminated,” Toyota said. “And Lou Varela also covers many of the town’s planning duties. We did not hire another planner when she accepted the town manager position.”
Expenses for those employees for 2015 are reported as: Beddoes, $5,930); Caldwell, $4,513; Farynowski, $1,284; Klassen, $6,375; Moore, $18,907; Ostendorf, $500; Schmidt, $4,170; Todaro, $606; and Varela, $16,273.
The May 24 council meeting also included discussion of a School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake) invitation for local governments to meet with the board, the Creston RCMP policing plan and the delay of a decision to use old parking meters for fundraising.