Norfolk council cost $447,000 in 2020

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Norfolk Mayor Kristal Chopp can expect to see her name on the province’s 2020 Sunshine List with total compensation last year amounting to $106,800.

The figure is contained in a report tabled at Norfolk council on March 9. The report, which was prepared by Norfolk reconciliation analyst Tammy Murphy, says Chopp drew a base salary of $103,595.

The mayor also collected $1,072 in mileage and claimed $2,130 for “conferences and other expenses.”

“The statement of remuneration and expenses includes both items paid directly to council members or council appointees and items paid directly to vendors on behalf of council members or council appointees,” Murphy says in her report. “Remuneration costs include wages as well as employer contributions for statutory benefits, life insurance and registered retirement savings plans.”

The next day, Mayor Chopp said council remuneration has gone up in some areas despite an ongoing wage freeze approved in 2019 due to new accounting procedures. This includes accounting for council expenses previously unreported such as county-issued cell phones. Despite this more inclusive approach, Norfolk council remuneration in 2020 was less than the previous year — $447,000 versus $451,600 in 2019.

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Chopp’s council colleagues collected remuneration ranging from $40,747 for retired Ward 2 councillor Roger Geysens to $48,422 for Port Dover Coun. Amy Martin, who collected a premium for serving much of 2020 as Norfolk’s deputy mayor.

Vittoria Coun. Chris VanPaassen also collected a premium as current deputy mayor for the time he served in the position. The report says VanPaassen’s gross income, as a council member, was $46,842.

Compensation for councillors Kim Huffman, Mike Columbus, Tom Masschaele, Ian Rabbitts, and Ryan Taylor ranged from $46,170 to $47,433. Murphy concludes her reconciliation of council remuneration by saying the total cost of Norfolk council last year amounted to $477,336.

Appointed and elected members of local boards and commissions are also compensated for their efforts.

Dennis Travale of Simcoe collected $6,063 last year as chair of Norfolk’s PSB while Columbus received $5,860 for serving as chair of the Long Point Region Conservation Authority.

PSB vice chair George Santos collected $4,721 for his contribution while civilian appointee Willy VanHeughten was paid $3,426.

Masschaele collected $1,252 for his participation as an LPRCA board member while compensation for colleagues Chopp, Rabbitts and Geysens ranged from $134 to $868. Masschaele also collected $770 for his contribution to the Norfolk County Public Library Board.

Appointees to Norfolk’s committee-of-adjustment are also compensated for their time and effort. The staff report says Linda D’Hondt-Crandon was paid $1,853 last year. Other payouts included Lisa Dove ($1,050), Rudy Stickl ($1,085), Alan Strang ($1,681), Travale ($412), Marcel VanHooren ($1,525) and Adam Veri ($1,754) for a total cost to the municipal treasury of $9,360.

Three members of the Haldimand-Norfolk Housing Corporation are also listed in the 2020 report. Jeff Miller of Port Dover collected $4,685 while Dunnville Coun. Bernie Corbett and Ken Lishman collected nominal amounts of less than $100 apiece.

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