White Rock to slash pay for position

White Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin and Rob Thompson, director of engineering and municipal operations. -
White Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin and Rob Thompson, director of engineering and municipal operations.
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The City of White Rock is looking for a new, full-time director of engineering and municipal operations.

But applicants would be wise not to expect the job’s remuneration to be anywhere near what it has been over the past two years.

“It’d be about half what it is now, probably in the $130,000 range, something in that order,” Mayor Wayne Baldwin said this week.

The position is currently held by Rob Thompson, who was hired on a two-year contract that expires June 29.

Baldwin told Peace Arch News Tuesday that while Thompson has done “good service” for White Rock, the end of his contract is an opportunity for the city to bring someone on board who is both qualified for the job’s requirements and paid appropriately.

Thompson declined to comment.

The mayor confirmed the quest is part of efforts to get the city’s finances in order.

In the lead-up to his election last fall, Baldwin criticized the compensation of both Thompson and former city manager Peggy Clark as “exceedingly generous.”

At $115.57 an hour – and $182,883 for 10 months’ work in 2010 – Thompson was “grossly overpaid,” Baldwin said at the time. Increases to Clark’s remuneration from the time she was hired in 2006 were “totally beyond all reason,” he added.

Clark retired on short notice in December, noting the recent election was “a good time to make a change.”

Tuesday, Baldwin – White Rock’s city manager from 1983 to 2006 – said a replacement for Thompson will be found “as soon as we can.”

“We want to get a qualified person in there,” Baldwin said.

“I find Rob’s done good service for us, but he’s being paid more than the city manager and myself put together. That’s an awful lot of money.”

Baldwin noted that despite Thompson’s job title, he is not an engineer. Given that the volume of work he was tasked with over the term of his contract “far exceeded the city’s capacity to handle,” it would not be fair to judge Thompson’s performance by what he’s been able to accomplish, he said.

“He’s done the best job he can and I appreciate that.”

A call for applications went out April 23, with a deadline of 4:30 p.m. May 14.



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