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More than 2,000 Vancouver civic employees earned six figures in 2022

More than 2,000 city hall, park board and fire department workers earned at least $100K last year, according to the city's annual statement of financial information.
Vancouver's city manager Paul Mochrie earned the most of any civic employee with $343,549 in compensation | Dan Toulgoet

Membership in the City of Vancouver’s “$100,000” club broke the 2,000 mark last year. 

The city’s annual statement of financial information, published Wednesday, shows 2,023 employees of city hall, the park board and fire department were paid $100,000 or more. 

In 2021, there were 1,798 employees with similar pay packets. 

The latest statement shows 27 individuals grossed over $200,000, topped by city manager Paul Mochrie at $343,549.

Patrice Impey was second on the pay podium ($309,456), followed by city solicitor Francie Connell ($308,056). 

Community services general manager Sandra Singh ($306,774) and deputy city manager Karen Levitt ($302,926) rounded out the top five.

General manager Donnie Rosa was the highest-paid at the park board, where 273 employees averaged $99,009.01 in earnings.

Chief librarian Christina de Castell ($267,662) earned more than fire chief Karen Fry ($263,828). Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services’ 798 employees averaged $130,160 in compensation.

There were 1,100 working in engineering under that department’s general manager, Lon LaClaire ($293,356). Engineering employees’ average pay was $99,019.24 in 2022.

A total 3,639 names are on the 2022 sunshine list for employees paid $75,000 and up, a 6-per-cent increase from the 3,426 people in 2021. 

The report did not offer any details about eight severance agreements in 2022 that ranged from a half-month to 17 months of gross salary.

Former mayor Kennedy Stewart was the highest-paid politician at $181,679, plus $20,577 in local expenses. Stewart spent $780,390 on political staff and other discretionary expenses. Ken Sim succeeded Stewart on Nov. 7, after a landslide win in the October civic election. 

Two regional government utility boards, whose members are not directly elected, received the biggest total annual payments from city coffers: Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District ($91.5 million) and Greater Vancouver Water District ($89.6 million). No. 3 on the list was B.C.’s Municipal Pension Plan ($86.9 million).

The city paid $16.58 million in grants to 22 business improvement areas, including $6.05 million to the Downtown Vancouver BIA. Funds granted to BIAs are raised through a special tax levy. 

The Vancouver Art Gallery ($2.12 million) and Vancouver Symphony Society ($1.59 million) were top cultural grant recipients. The biggest grants to non-profit agencies went to the Aboriginal Land Trust Society ($6.25 million) and Lookout Housing and Health Society ($5.38 million).

For the year ended Dec. 31, city hall reported a $552.4 million surplus on $2.45 billion revenue. 

The record property tax haul of $1.08 billion was $74 million better than budgeted.

City reserves stood at $1.69 billion at the end of 2022, $231.5 million higher, year over year. It also reported $611.7 million in net long-term debt. 

Sim and his majority ABC city council voted Feb. 28 to hike taxes 10.7 per cent for this year’s $1.97 billion budget.