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City’s annual list of top earners released

Last year, 44 of the people tasked with keeping the City of Langley running smoothly were paid more than $75,000 each to carry out their duties.

Of those, 29 earned salaries of more than $100,000

The figures were made public by the City of Langley last month, in adherence with the Financial Information Act’s rules about public sector salary disclosure.

The City’s Chief Administrative Officer Francis Cheung, topped the list, earning  just over $199,000 in 2013. In addition to his salary, $2,993 in expenses were paid on Cheung’s behalf.

Among the other top earners in the City in 2013 were the municipality’s Director of Corporate Services (finance officer) Darrin Leite, who made $143,144 and claimed expenses valued at $4,303 and the City’s Director of Development Services, Gerald Minchuk, who earned $139,096 and claimed more than $11,000 in expenses.

Fire chief William (Rory) Thompson earned $138,970 and claimed expenses of $3,776.

During the May 5 council meeting when the report was made public, Councillor Dave Hall commented that $75,000 seemed like an odd threshold, noting that incomes have grown significantly over the years.

In addition to staff salaries, the report also includes the remuneration, expenses and benefits paid to members of council last year.

In 2013, the City lost its elected mayor, Peter Fassbender, who was elected in Surrey to serve as an MLA. Before he took an unpaid leave of absence on July 31, Fassbender earned just over $40,000, was reimbursed for $3,882 in expenses and received benefits valued at $2,742 for a total of $46,850.

Acting mayor Ted Schaffer, a member of council who was chosen by his peers to assume the role in Fassbender’s absence, earned $54,188 in 2013, in addition to receiving a benefits package valued at $3,517 and being reimbursed for $6,247 in expenses.

Councillor Gayle Martin received $35,255, including remuneration for her service as deputy mayor. She claimed $5,358 in expenses and received benefits worth $2,344 for a total of $42,957.

Councillor Rosemary Wallace, who also served a term as deputy mayor in 2013, was paid $31,991, received benefits of $5,520 and claimed $2,310 in expenses.

Councillors Teri James, Jack Arnold and Dave Hall each earned $31,338.

Arnold claimed expenses valued at $3,589 and received travel and accident insurance valued at $73.

Hall claimed $625 in expenses and also received $73 in travel and accident insurance as his only benefit.

James’ benefits amounted to $5,632 and she claimed $143 in travel expenses.

The report also details payments made by the City to its suppliers last year.

Among the largest expenses for the City were a $6.65 million payment to the Receiver General for Canada.

The amount covers both the City’s share of its policing costs with the Township and income tax paid on behalf of City employees.

A further $2.09 million was paid to the Township of Langley to offset costs of civilian employees at the Langley RCMP detachment, which serves both municipalities.

A $2.9 million payment was made in 2013 to the City of Surrey for Langley City’s share of the railway combo overpass project currently being constructed on the border between the two municipalities.

Water and sewer services provided by the Greater Vancouver Regional District, cost the City $2.2 million and $1.9 million, respectively last year.

The City also paid $1.13 million for services it received as a member of the Fraser Valley Regional Library system

One smaller, but notable expense was a $232,000 payment to Rockcliffe Estates — the company which successfully sued the City of Langley after a judge determined the City had undervalued land it expropriated to build the 204 Street overpass.

The money was paid to Rockcliffe last July, after an updated appraisal of the land was made in anticipation of the lawsuit.

The City of Langley  encompasses four square miles and is home to about 25,000 people.

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