During the mayoral forum a very valid question was asked.
From where did the salary figure for our current CAO come?
Mayoral candidate Lorne Mann answered the question, in the process making some statements I will address both here and in a second post regarding the CAO hiring process.
He stated that our average cost for CAO salaries over the last 3 years was $148000 per year.
This only serves to highlight how current council was unable to replace the departing CAO with a suitable candidate in 2011 and work with them for an appreciable amount of time.
Let’s review the timeline of CAOs for the current council. I’d encourage you to read the linked articles. They are well done and enlightening.
a. October 2010: Last election. Current council formed.
b. November 29, 2010: Former CAO Norma MacQuarrie “resigns” following an in-camera meeting. Renate Bensch appointed as interim CAO.
c. 2010 financial statement shows “amount included in salary for CAO includes accrual for payment of severance package”. 2010 amount $339,657. 2009 amount $146,680. Difference=$192,977
f. 2011 financial statement shows $122,983 for CAO total salary.
g. March 27, 2012: Greg Varricchio appointed CAO in a 4-3 split vote. Here is a Record Gazette article on the process, or lack thereof, used for this hiring. Then three editorials back and forth between Deputy Mayor North Darling and Erin Steele, editor of The Record Gazette (1, 2, and 3). There were five months before that with interim CAO.
h. Early May 2012. Council accepts resignation of Mr. Varricchio. In office a little over a month. Paresh Dhariya appointed as interim CAO.
i. January 14, 2013: Council moves to hire Avant-Garde Inc. as contractor and to allow it to provide an employee to act as CAO, in this case Kelly Bunn.
Prior to this council was without a permanent CAO for roughly 8 months.
Take some time and review the history.
Then come back in a few hours at which point I will outline how the aforementioned contract was accepted by Council.
You should have a fairly good idea by the end what open and transparent governance looks like under the current leadership.