The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen paid close to $8 million for its employees in 2019. (Summerland Review file photo)

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen paid close to $8 million for its employees in 2019. (Summerland Review file photo)

Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen pays nearly $8 million in wages

Figures included in latest Statement of Financial Information

Employees at the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen received $7,809,824 in regular remuneration in 2019.

The regional district presented the figures as part of its 2019 Statement of Financial Information.

In addition, expenses of $95,665 were also paid to regional district employees.

The remuneration figures also included $20,053 in overtime wages attributed to emergency operations.

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The highest paid staff member at the regional district in 2019 was Bill Newell, chief administrative officer. His regular remuneration for the year was $163,923.

A total of 30 other regional district staff members received pay in excess of $75,000. Many of these were management roles, building officials and positions working with regional district utilities.

In 2020, the regional district has made some cuts as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In April, the regional district announced two senior managers, in public works and development services, had been let go. The cuts were terminations, not temporary layoffs.

In addition, the regional district revisited its 2018 organizational change.

“The statistics and assumptions that were the foundation of the organizational change are no longer relevant,” Newell said in April. “Seemingly overnight, we went from flat out growth to projections for economic retraction.”

Because of the pandemic, the regional district also froze recruitment on new budgeted positions.

Local governments are required to file the Statement of Financial Information each year. The document must be available for public viewing by Aug. 31 and must be accessible for the next three years.

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Municipal Government