If the city was looking for transparency, here it is.
Sometimes laundry needs to be hung in the wind to air out, and that is exactly what the city had to do with its financials — just as every other municipality does this time of year.
However, it has been three years since the Northern View reported on the annual Statement of Financial Information (SOFI) by the city, and looking at our article from 2013 to now, the differences are, well, you can decide on that yourself.
For one, in 2013 the city had 45 employees getting paid more than $75,000 and 11 employees who took home more than $100,000 in pay and benefits with a $12.3 million payroll.
In the 2016 SOFI, the city had 65 employees making more than $75,000 and 31 earning more than $100,000 with a total payroll of $13.56 million.
A lot has changed in those three years. There’s a different council, with Mayor Lee Brain claiming $61,318 plus $17,274 in travel expenses, and a different chief administrative officer — the top earner on the city payroll — Robert Long, who was paid $237,139 in 2016, but then if you tack on payment in lieu of employer pension contributions, training and travel expenses his total comes to $274,500.
Talking salaries and expenses shouldn’t be anyone’s business except for the employer, bank, the government and possibly your significant other, but when it comes to public servants and tax dollars, it’s everyone’s business.