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County Sunshine List is a long one, but not when one considers inflation

Longtime County of Wellington CAO Scott Wilson remains the highest paid local public employee
Canadian Money
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WELLINGTON COUNTY – If taken at face value, the number of public sector employees in Wellington County on the province’s Sunshine List is a significant one. But adjust the $100,000 benchmark established in 1996 for inflation and the number would shrink significantly. 

However, adjusting the $100,000 benchmark for inflation shrinks that number to a considerable degree. 

The annual sunshine list is out for 2023, which discloses the salary of public sector employees in the province who were paid at least $100,000. This act was put in place in 1996 and the benchmark has not moved since then. 

Based on the Bank of Canada’s inflation calculator, $100,000 in 1996 would be the equivalent of $175,368.90 in 2023.

If the inflated salary is used as the benchmark, it changes the Sunshine List significantly. For example the Upper Grand District School Board (UGDSB) goes from 1,332 employees on the list to just 15.

Across the eight Wellington County municipalities, there were 168 municipal employees on the 2023 Sunshine List compared to 129 in 2022.

Longtime County of Wellington CAO Scott Wilson was once again the highest paid municipal employee in Wellington County taking home $297,106.53 last year. 

There were 92 employees of the County of Wellington on this year’s list which would go down to nine if adjusted for inflation. County Warden Andy Lennox is the only Wellington County politician on the list, being paid $141,846.91 in 2023.

Centre Wellington had 27 employees paid more than $100,000 in 2023. This goes down to just one employee, CAO Dan Wilson who was paid $195,957.25, if using the inflation adjusted benchmark. 

In Mapleton, CAO Manny Baron was paid $180,492.61 and seven other employees there made the Sunshine List. Baron would be the only one paid above the inflation adjusted benchmark. 

Guelph/Eramosa’s CAO Ian Roger was paid $196,560.91 last year and was the only one who made above $175,000 in the township. Eight employees of that township made the Sunshine List.

Erin’s former CAO Nathan Hyde topped the list at $253,799.94 with eight others from the town joining him. Hyde would be the only who’d make the list using the inflation adjusted salary.

No employees of Minto, Puslinch or Wellington North breached the inflation adjusted $175,368.90 salary. Combined the towns had 24 employees on the list paid over $100,000. 

It’s a similar situation in the healthcare sector. 

Groves Memorial Community Hospital had 56 employees making over $100,000 but CEO Angela Stanley would be the only one above the inflation-adjusted salary benchmark as she was paid $193,595.

North Wellington Health Care, the corporation of the hospitals in Mount Forest and Palmerston, had 50 on the Sunshine List but none were paid above $175,000.

UGDSB director of education Peter Sovran received $279,505.

The director of education was also the top-paid worker at the Wellington Catholic District School Board, which had 317 people make the list. Michael Glazier’s pay reached $213,414. Four employees would make the list at the adjusted rate.

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Keegan Kozolanka

About the Author: Keegan Kozolanka

Keegan Kozolanka is a general assignment reporter for EloraFergusToday, covering Wellington County. Keegan has been working with Village Media for more than two years and helped launch EloraFergusToday in 2021.
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