A total of 189 people on City Hall’s payroll made $100,000 or more last year.
The 32% increase means that fully one-third of the 540-member municipal workforce is now also a member of the so-called “Sunshine Club.”
Firefighters and police officers dominated the annual list released last week as required under the Public Sector Disclosure Act.
The four-page, tightly-spaced list includes the names of 87 of Sarnia’s 115-member police department. The vast majority are first class constables who earned between $100,000 and $133,000, plus taxable benefits.
Inspectors and staff sergeants received more, and Chief Phil Nelson was the highest paid police officer at $169,000, plus taxable benefits.
Firefighters were the largest group of employees to rise above the threshold for salary disclosure. Seventy fire officers and two administrators made $100,000 plus, a year-over-year increase of 52%.
Fire Chief John Kingyens led the way at $143,000, plus taxable benefits.
Overall, the top earner at City Hall was city manager Margaret Misek-Evans, who earned $173,000, plus taxable benefits.
Coun. Matt Mitro took note of a growing gap between public and private sector wages when city council reviewed the numbers on March 21.
Sarnia’s employees are great people who work hard, he said.
“Around our community, though, there are many people for whom $100,000 per annum will never be attainable,” he added.
“They struggle on much less and they actually, in their lifespan or their careers, have moved backward.”
The finance department also released a report itemizing the pay and expenses of the Sarnia’s mayor and eight councillors.
Mayor Mike Bradley had gross earnings last year of $59,000 and received about $11,000 in car allowance and benefits.
Each councillor made $20,000 in earnings and taxable benefits.
The total bill for all of council’s travel, conference and electronic device expenses came to $10,000.