Figures released of the highest earners at Lake Country municipal hall.

The district’s $100,000 club

Lake Country pays out an overall staff taxable salary cost of $4.9 million

Three senior staff directors are above the $100,000 salary plateau at the District of Lake Country, recently released salary figures show as of Dec. 31, 2016.

Topping the trio is chief administrative officer Alberto De Feo at $182,625.59, an increase over the $171,000 he earned the previous year.

Joining De Feo in the $100,000 salary group are Michael Mercer, director of engineering and environmental service, at $128,816.07; Mark Koch, director of community services, at $124,279.25; and fire chief Steve Windsor at $122,186.71.

By law, municipalities are required each year to release the salary figures for public knowledge of all employees earning more than $75,000 in salary.

In Lake Country, 13 other staff employees exceed that plateau, at an overall staff taxable salary cost of $4.9 million.

Mayor James Baker said the district relies on regional district studies to determine the going salary range for administrative services and tends to land in the median of that range.

“We are never the highest, and never the lowest,” Baker said. “We tend to land in the mid-range and we’ve hired people who do good work and continue to do good work.”

Baker said the sunshine tax, taking less salary to live the Okanagan lifestyle, has long since disappeared, at least in the public sector.

“I think that is gone now. People come here for different reasons, not just because they are living in Manitoba and they want to get out of downtown Winnipeg and the -50 below in the winters,” he said.

Baker said while some people with specialized skills may switch back and forth from the private sector, he said Lake Country’s municipal staff tends to be stable.

“Most of our people live in our community and want to be here,” Baker said.

“Stability and good benefits are why it is attractive today to work for a municipality.”

Meanwhile, a committee has been struck by council to review the remuneration for council members, which is currently $40,965 for the mayor and $16,143 for councillors.

The recommendations adopted will come into play for the next council elected in the fall of 2018.

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