The Municipality of Meaford has released their annual list of employees who earn more than $100,000 per year as required by the Public Sector Salary Disclosure Act, and in 2017 there were half as many on the list as the year prior.
Each year organizations that receive public funding from the Province of Ontario must disclose the names, positions, salaries, and total taxable benefits of employees paid $100,000 or more in a calendar year; the compiled list is commonly referred to as the 'sunshine list'.
In 1996 the Mike Harris Conservative government passed the Ontario Public Disclosure Act, which the government of the day suggested would offer transparency and would highlight increasing spending on public sector payrolls.
Prior to 2009, Meaford had no employees earning enough to land them on the list, but that changed when former CAO Frank Miele became the first with a reported income of $118,000 in 2009. The original threshold of $100,000 to earn a spot on the annual Sunshine List has never been adjusted for inflation, which has resulted in an ever-growing number of public sector employees being included in the list. In the first year of the list's publication it included 4,756 public sector employees, while last year more than 131,741 made it onto the list. Had the threshold been adjusted for inflation annually, public sector employees would today need to earn more than $150,000 in order to be included on the list.
The number of Meaford's municipal employees finding themselves on the annual 'sunshine list' had been growing steadily over the past five years, however with the departures of Clerk Robert Tremblay, Director of Parks, Recreation, and Culture Dan Buttineau, and Fire Chief Mike Molloy in the past two years, the number of Meaford employees on the 2017 Sunshine List dropped from six to three.
The following staff with the Municipality of Meaford are included on the 2017 salary disclosure list, as submitted to the Province in March, 2018.
Robert Armstrong, Director of Development & Environmental Services – Salary of $118,354.60, Taxable benefits $1,230.15
Darcy Chapman, Treasurer/Director of Financial Services & Infrastructure Management – Salary of $118,354.60, Taxable benefits $1,230.15
Denyse Morrissey, Chief Administrative Officer – Salary of $151,829.72, Taxable benefits $1,550.65