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Mayor and council salaries increase, while six-figure club grows by one

Annual SOFI list shows city salaries

The City of Prince Rupert released its Statement of Financial Information (SOFI), showing that it spent just over $15 million in staff funding for 2018 — including city manager, Robert Long, who has made $265,665 in total remuneration.

The total remuneration number that is used to tally the complete earnings of city employees combines a base salary with benefits, such as retirement allowances and tax-free payments.

While 2018 saw 35 city employees top the $100,000 earnings mark, which was one more than the previous year.

READ MORE: Last year’s SOFI List: City adds three more to $100,000 club

Long’s salary is up five thousand dollars from last year, according to SOFI. Chief Financial Officer Corinne Bomben brought in $168,164, up nineteen thousand dollars from 2017. Bomben’s salary raise is not permanent however, and was to cover her role as chief election officer during the 2018 municipal election.

City council, including the mayor, also received a bump after having to make changes following a decision by the federal government in January to cancel a long-standing tax exemption that allowed a number of municipal staff, including legislators, school trustees and regional directors, to write off a third of their salary.

With the exemption repealed, the city put together a Blue Ribbon Standing Committee to search for a way to offset the federal decision. This meant that members of the community would research and advise an appropriate course of action.

Based on the committee’s recommendations, in April council decided on a $15,000 dollar raise for the mayoral position. This means Mayor Lee Brain’s salary will increase to $75,000 next year. Brain made $60,867 last year, with expenses — taking his total amounts earned to $90,000.

Councillors will now earn a quarter of the mayor’s salary, which equates to $18,750. The highest councillor salary in 2018 was $13,431, earned by four councillors. The new baseline number will be higher than any councillor made last year, even with expenses included — that mark went to Wade Niesh, at $16,137.