By Pam Wright
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Six new names were added to the municipality’s sunshine list this past year, meaning there are now 300 employees being paid more than $100,000 per year.
Chatham-Kent Police Service employees accounted for more than a third of the list, with 131 employees hitting the mark. Police Chief Gary Conn led the way, making $237,895 for the year along, with $14,117 in taxable benefits.
Chatham-Kent Fire Service and Emergency Services accounted for 58 names in the $100,000 club with Chief Chris Case at the top. He took home $200,048 plus $1,365 in taxable benefits.
Overall, the municipality’s highest-paid employee in 2021 was CAO Don Shropshire, who made $254,985, with 10,649 in taxable benefits.
Municipal department heads were also top earners. Dr. April Rietdyk, general manager of community health services and the CEO of Chatham-Kent Public Health pocketed $226,138 in salary and $7,016 in taxable benefits.
Chatham-Kent’s medical officer of health Dr. David Colby earned $235,887 with no taxable benefits.
Thomas Kelly, general manager of infrastructure and engineering, who parted ways just last week with the municipality, took home $213,214 in wages along with $10,725 in taxable benefits last year.
Chief Financial Officer Gord Quinton was paid $198,768 in 2021, along with $7,016 in taxable benefits.
Cathy Hoffman, general manager of corporate services and chief human resources officer, banked $201,001 last year, along with $7,016 in taxable benefits.
Revealing the names of employees earning more than $100,000 is part of a provincial mandate under the Public Sector Salary Disclosure Act.
Hoffman said the Consumer Price Index has not been applied to reporting process since 1996, which would put the reporting level at $158,028.
If that happened, there would be only 20 names on the list, Hoffman said in press statement.
“Openness and transparency are priorities to the municipality,” Hoffman said, adding that reporting on annual wages is one way to achieve this.
She added it’s also a time to express appreciation for the municipality’s team, noting the increased demand on employees made in the past 24 months as the result of COVID-19.