Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

City's handshakes remain golden, indeed

Departing officials again top pay-earners

  • Print

WINNIPEG — Former deputy police chief Menno Zacharias was one of Winnipeg's highest-paid employees last year even though he was only on the job for six weeks.

Zacharias earned $286,753 from the city in a retirement, severance and salary package when he left the Winnipeg Police Service in mid-February 2008, according to a newly released list of city salary and benefit payments.

Zacharias, who spent 34 years as a member of the Winnipeg Police Service, lost out to Keith McCaskill in the competition to succeed Jack Ewatski as Winnipeg's police chief when the high-profile job came open in 2007.

The package paid out to Zacharias made him the second-highest-paid employee among the 11,267 full-time, part-time, casual, seasonal and temporary workers who collected a City of Winnipeg paycheque in 2008.

Under provincial law, the city is required to disclose all wage and benefit payments paid out to any employee who earns $50,000 or more in a given year. In 2008, 4,453 workers, including Mayor Sam Katz and all 15 city councillors, made the list.

Retiring employees traditionally top the annual list, which saw the city pay more than $700,0000 in combined benefits and salaries to Ewatski and former chief administrative officer Annitta Stenning in 2007.

This year, the highest payout went to Mark Purdy, a Winnipeg Transit operations superintendent, who earned a $292,475 severance package. Former internal services director Luella Lee left the city with $198,590 in compensation, former city solicitor Ursula Goeres received a $174,158 goodbye cheque and Stenning received another $50,000 in 2008, on top of the $343,500 she earned when she left the city in September 2007.

The highest city salaries to non-retiring staff are earned by senior administrators, not politicians. Department heads earned anywhere from $119,000 to $155,000 in 2008, while Mayor Sam Katz took home $114,053 and the salary range for city councillors was $60,153 to $75,866. Politicians, however, receive a third of their salaries tax-free.

The top non-retiring wage-earner in Winnipeg last year was chief administrative officer Glen Laubenstein, who earned $158,796 for nine months' work after he started with the city in April 2008. His annual salary is approximately $212,000.

Deputy CAO Phil Sheegl, who also started in April, took home $111,908, though his annual salary is approximately $180,000. Fellow deputy CAOs Mike Ruta and Alex Robinson earned $153,890 and $150,914, respectively.

The complete list of payments is online at


Municipal money-makers

IN 2008, the City of Winnipeg employed anywhere from 8,440 to 9,835 full-time, part-time, casual, temporary and seasonal employees. The city issued a total of 11,267 T-4 slips at the end of the year. Of those employees, 4,435 earned $50,000 or more -- the threshold for public disclosure under provincial law. Here are salaries for selected city employees:

Elected officials*

Mayor Sam Katz: $114,053

City councillors: $60,153 to $75,866, depending on duties

* Politicians' salaries include a 33 per cent tax-free component


Top administrators

Glen Laubenstein, chief administrative officer: $158,796*

Phil Sheegl, deputy CAO: $111,908**

Mike Ruta, chief financial officer/deputy CAO: $153,890

Alex Robinson, deputy CAO: $150,914

* Hired in April 2008. Annual salary approximately $212,000

** Hired in April 2008. Annual salary approximately: $180,000


Department heads

Barry MacBride, water and waste director: $155,231

Bill Larkin, public works director: $151,956*

Keith McCaskill, police chief: $148,325

Richard Kachur, city clerk: $143,929

Jim Brennan, fire paramedic chief: $137,347

Clive Wightman, community services director: $136,956

Nelson Karpa, city assessor: $136,493

Shannon Hunt, city auditor: $134,128*

Dave Wardrop, Winnipeg Transit director: $128,931

Joanne Ferrier, city treasurer: $127,489

Sherwood Armbruster, chief of mayoral staff: $125,197

Deepak Joshi, planning, property, development manager: $122,028

Linda Black, corporate support services director: $118,948

* Since retired


Public faces

Pam Sveinson, communications manager: $100,093

Gordon Glover, zoo director: $100,000

Kenny Boyce, film and special events manager: $93,711

Randy Hull, emergency preparedness co-ordinator: $93,611

Taz Stuart, city entomologist: $90,889

Const. Jacqui Chaput, police spokeswoman: $83,095

Ken Allen, city spokesman: $77,807

Brad Salyn, mayor's communications director: $76,843

Const. Jason Michalyshen, police spokesman: $75,708


Severance packages

Mark Purdy, former operations superintendent for Winnipeg Transit: $292,474

Menno Zacharias, former deputy police chief: $286,753

Luella Lee, former internal services director: $198,590

Ursula Goeres, former city solicitor: $174,158

Annitta Stenning, former chief administrative officer: $50,000*

* Stenning's 2008 payout is on top of the $343,500 severance/salary package she received in 2007, when she left the city


-- Source: 2008 City of Winnipeg Compensation Disclosure

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 2, 2009 A4

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Stephen Harper announces increased support for Canadian child protection agencies

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Geese take cover in long grass in the Tuxedo Business Park near Route 90 Wednesday- Day 28– June 27, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Marc Gallant / Winnipeg Free Press.  Local- (Standup Photo). Watcher in the woods. A young deer peers from the forest while eating leaves by Cricket Drive in Assiniboine Park. A group of eight deer were seen in the park. 060508.

View More Gallery Photos


Are you concerned about the number of homicides so far this year?

View Results

Ads by Google