March 19, 2014

Payment to Miele affected Town budget

As published in The Erin Advocate

It appears the termination payment to former CAO Frank Miele last year forced the Town of Erin to overspend a section of its salary budget, but the exact amount remains confidential.

“Wages were $85,640 more than estimated as a result of staffing changes and HR [Human Resources] adjustments,” said Finance Director Sharon Marshall, in her synopsis of the General Government (Administration) Department in 2013, as part of the current budget process.

“I cannot provide any details on identifiable individuals,” she said, in response to a question on the issue, but she did confirm that an “HR matter” was the primary reason for going over-budget on salaries, wages and benefits in Administration.

Miele received a payout according to the terms of his contract after he was fired last May. The figure of $85,640 cannot be identified as the amount paid, since it is the net result of a department’s compensation expenditures.

“Other departments also had 2013 over-budget salary amounts (Roads and Water mostly),” said Marshall. “The 2014 proposed wage reduction is due to the ‘change’ in senior staff in Admin; vacant position in the Water Department as the Water Superintendent reviews his operations and staffing needs; and a reduction of one half a full-time equivalent to the over-all Town staffing level.”

In her published report, she notes that, “Legal costs exceeded budget estimates by $39,735 as result of additional professional fees for HR matters, Code of Conduct / Integrity policy implementation, and defence of litigation.

Overall, the Town budgeted $3.85 million for salaries, wages and benefits in 2013, but went over by 4% and actually spent $4.0 million. That is 45% of total operating expenditures, which were $8.8 million (including $1 million transferred to reserves, but not including capital projects).

The proposed 2014 budget calls for overall compensation expenditures of $3.78 million, a 1.56% reduction compared to last year’s budget.

In the Administration Department, actual compensation expenditures were $945,576, more than 9% over budget. For 2014, the proposed figure is $869,261, up only .57% from the 2013 budget.