Coun. Paula Havixbeck’s quest to learn how many people are on the city’s payroll found no answers on the floor of city council.
Havixbeck asked Mayor Sam Katz how many people are on the city’s payroll and what percentage of the budget is consumed by their salaries.
But Katz wouldn’t answer the question and finance chair Coun. Russ Wyatt would only say how many full-time equivalent staff are supposed to be on payroll according to the 2013 approved budget.
"I’m sure the Mayor can tell us how many people work for the Goldeyes (the baseball team owned by Katz) on a full-time basis but can the Mayor tell us how many actual employees work for the city of Winnipeg and what percentage of the budget that is," Havixbeck (Charleswood-Tuxedo) said.
Habixbeck asked finance officials earlier in the month the same question but was told that finding the answer was almost impossible. She was told it would take staff two months of work to pinpoint the exact number of employees on payroll for any given day or week.
Wyatt said council approved having 8,770.5 full-time equivalent employees in the 2013 budget, but said he, and the administration, don’t know if that is the actual number.
Havixbeck said the property tax increase in the 2013 budget was approved in part with the assurance that 320 new employees would be hired and she wants assurances that they’ve been hired.
But Wyatt couldn’t answer the question.
"That’s the issue," Wyatt said. "The concern is the past practice over many years has been... the actual is different than the budget.
"But it’s being addressed."