Resident questions severance for former White Rock city manager

Resident questions severance for former White Rock city manager

Retirement allowance for Peggy Clark was more than $250,000; amount in line with industry standards says Mayor Wayne Baldwin

A severance pay/retirement allowance of more than $250,000 received by former White Rock city manager Peggy Clark was not excessive by industry standards, according to Mayor Wayne Baldwin.

Information released in December to city resident Garry Wolgemuth, in response to an FOI request, confirmed that Clark received $252,181.41 in severance when she retired as city manager in December 2012.

The announcement of Clark’s retirement at the age of 63 came suddenly – shortly after Baldwin was elected mayor.

During his campaign, Baldwin – himself a longtime city manager of White Rock – had been openly critical of Clark’s compensation (in her last year she received $185,160, plus an additional $5,266 in expenses), calling it, and pay received by another senior staff member, “exceedingly generous.”

Contacted by Peace Arch News Tuesday, Baldwin expressed surprise that Clark’s retirement should have emerged as an issue.

“This is an HR (human-resources) matter so I can’t really comment,” he said.“Whatever we did, we did with the advice of our solicitors.”

Asked if he believed the severance given Clark was in line with industry standards, Baldwin commented “exactly.”

Wolgemuth told PAN that the issue is of interest partly because of the rapidity of Clark’s departure – and partly because, in his understanding, resignations and retirements usually do not qualify for severance payments.

“I’ve looked into a number of (departures from the city) in the past and been told that there was no severance because people had retired or resigned,” he said. “Normally, a person would announce their retirement before the election – I think she knew her days were numbered because Baldwin had made (her salary) an election issue.”

Wolgemuth noted that Clark had succeeded Baldwin as city manager in 2006.

“I think there was a bit of a grudge there.”

Clark, now a public-sector consultant in Saskatoon, Sask., and – before she worked in White Rock – former director of community services for the City of Regina, confirmed to PAN that she was aware of the FOI request and had agreed to the release of the information, although she declined to comment on the severance amount.

Tuesday, she told PAN that while receiving severance after resigning “probably isn’t” usual for a resignation, her departure was a retirement “because of my age, and because I wasn’t going to be applying for a job as a city manager anywhere else – it was at the end of my career as a city manager.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

After twice have their wedding plans altered due to COVID-19 restrictions, Suzanne Schmidt and Andrew Sturgess got married in Bakerview Park last weekend, with the only guests being their two daughters, Zoey (foreground) and Tessa. (Darren Ripka photo)
From New Zealand to Bakerview Park, South Surrey couple weds in ‘backyard’

Twice scaled-down wedding ‘proof that good things still happen during bad times’

Wickson Pier in Crescent Beach is closed to the public, as work to replace and repair piles continues. (Susan Richards de Wit photo)
PHOTOS: Repairs to Crescent Beach pier complete

$180,000 Wickson Pier project included pile replacement, says City of Surrey parks manager

Steve ‘Elvis’ Elliott performs for residents of Amica White Rock. Exercise-to-music programs that led to a threat of city fines due to a noise complaint are to resume next week. (Contributed file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Amica White Rock

Peace Portal Seniors Village outbreak declared over

B.C.’s parliament buildings in Victoria. (Photo: Tom Fletcher)
Surrey gets two cabinet ministers, a parliamentary secretary and government whip

Premier John Horgan’s NDP MLAs were sworn in on Tuesday and the cabinet was revealed Thursday afternoon

The Festival of Lights; Jingle Bell White Rock; and the Lighted Boat Parade all helped light up the White Rock waterfront on Saturday, Dec. 7. (Aaron Hinks photo)
White Rock Festival of Lights postponed

While event founder remains optimistic, the future of this year’s display is uncertain

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 887 new cases

Another 13 deaths, ties the highest three days ago

Arthur Topham has been sentenced to one month of house arrest and three years of probation after breaching the terms of his probation. Topham was convicted of promoting hate against Jewish people in 2015. (Photo submitted)
Quesnel man convicted for anti-Semitic website sentenced to house arrest for probation breach

Arthur Topham was convicted of breaching probation following his 2017 sentence for promoting hatred

Langley School District's board office. (Langley Advance Times files)
‘Sick Out’ aims to pressure B.C. schools over masks, class sizes

Parents from Langley and Surrey are worried about COVID safety in classrooms

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The baby boy born to Gillian and Dave McIntosh of Abbotsford was released from hospital on Wednesday (Nov. 25) while Gillian continues to fight for her life after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
B.C. mom with COVID-19 still fighting for life while newborn baby now at home

Son was delivered Nov. 10 while Gillian McIntosh was in an induced coma

B.C. Premier John Horgan, a Star Trek fan, can’t resist a Vulcan salute as he takes the oath of office for a second term in Victoria, Nov. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
Horgan names 20-member cabinet with same pandemic team

New faces in education, finance, economic recovery

A new ‘soft reporting’ room is opening inside the Ann Davis Transition Society offices on Dec. 1, 2020 which is thought to be the first of its kind in B.C. (Ann Davis Transitional Society/ Facebook)
New ‘trauma-informed’ reporting room opening next week in Chilliwack

It’s a space for reporting domestic violence, sexual assault, or gender-based violence to police

Most Read