The significant salary increases during 2023 are not the only problem facing the city - the revolt on the part of a majority of Council members is very serious

By Staff

March 30th, 2024



The province of Ontario released the 2023 Sunshine list; the document that sets all those who earned more than $100,000 in the year 2023.

Here is a list of the top income earners for the city of Burlington, people earning over $200,000 a year.

The names in red are people who have retired or were let go.

When there are discussions related to staff salaries current City Manager Tim Commisso has explained that the city has to compete with other municipalities to get the talent it needs to be able t0 run a city that is expected to go through rapid population growth requiring large increases in housing.  Because Burlington has very little in the way of land within the urban boundary that can be purchased by developers what land there is available gets used for high rise towers.

The planning expertise for high rise housing requires talent that Burlington just didn’t have.  Add to that the changes made at the provincial level and you have a planning department that is struggling to stay on top of things.

Finally – there are the number of development application appeals that are at the Ontario Land Tribunal.  Preparing for those requires staff time and the need for a beefed up legal department.  It is far from a pretty picture.

Are other municipalities of comparable size going through the same experience?   We do know that the Mayor of Guelph chose not to take on the Strong Mayor Powers and that they were given a decent chunk of money for meeting their development targets.

Which leads to the question: Is the Burlington situation unique ?

What is clear is that the city has experienced some significant retirements – they knew that was coming.  The recent decision to let some very senior staff  go hasn’t helped.  The Mayor refuses to take responsibility for the decision citing information about people that is personal – yet the city manager was able to confirm that people the Gazette named has been let go.  Looks and sounds like forked tongues to me

The decision on the part of the current Mayor to double down on the Strong Mayors powers hasn’t helped either.  Add to that a Council that has yet to figure out a way to bring the Mayor to heal.

And finally – tax payers who have to pick up the cost of everything.  Expect the tax payer blow back during the last budget presentation to be repeated next budget.

While Council may not have figured out how to put a leash on the Mayor – citizens know exactly what to do.  Come the 2026 municipal election look for a blood bath.

Name Title 2022 2023 Increase %
Commisso, Tim City Manager  $   275,377.06  $   301,993.94 9.67
Ford, Joan Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer  $   242,396.60  $   263,169.11 8.57
Boyd, Laura Executive Director, Human Resources  $   211,310.92  $   256,119.08 21.20
Magi, Allan Executive Director, Environment, Infrastructure and Community Services  $   237,624.68  $   254,034.58 6.91
Shea Nicol, Nancy Executive Director, Legal Services and Corporate Council  $   242,464.89  $   253,409.31 4.51
Jones, Sheila Executive Director, Strategy Risk and Accountability  $   217,058.93  $   226,593.50 4.39
Nheiley, Brynn Executive Director, Community Planning, Regulation and Mobility  $   167,855.71  $   215,825.95 28.58
Macdonald, Chad Executive Director, Digital Service and Chief Information Officer  $   192,306.17  $   214,654.08 11.62
Scalera, Enrico Director, Roads Parks and Forestry  $   200,629.64  $   207,649.46 3.50
Anastasopoulos, Nick Director, Building Services and Chief Building Official #N/A  $   204,018.55 #N/A
Kummer, Craig Director, Transportation Services  $   180,785.86  $   204,018.42 12.85
Hamilton, Scott Director, Engineering Services  $   199,957.57  $   203,787.64 1.92
Ako-Adjei, Kwab Director, Corporate Communications and Engagement  $   183,423.83  $   203,370.23 10.87
Hurley, Blake Executive Director, Legal Services and Corporate Council  $   186,761.34  $   202,755.29 8.56
Meed Ward, Marianne Mayor  $   191,619.82  $   202,712.11 5.79


This is a list of everyone who received an increase of 10% or more. The list includes members of the fire department where overtime is being used to manage a staffing shortage.

Name Title 2022 2023 Increase %
Pawlik, John Deputy Fire Chief $107,660.18 $178,356.34 65.67
Cote, Emilie Director, Recreation, Community and Culture $127,990.25 $175,804.23 37.36
Remedios, Shirley Database Administrator $100,782.49 $137,108.19 36.04
Begbie, Alison Application Analyst $102,272.67 $134,975.90 31.98
Schustyk, Kevin Senior Traffic Signal Technician $103,479.41 $136,357.78 31.77
Nheiley, Brynn Executive Director, Community Planning, Regulation and Mobility $167,855.71 $215,825.95 28.58
Bell, Alan Architect, Digital Platform $106,938.75 $136,989.95 28.10
Tellier, Jamie Director, Community Planning $142,899.43 $180,291.55 26.17
Robinson, David Building Inspector $102,171.96 $126,663.32 23.97
Kumar, Anil Engineer, Building $120,126.63 $148,752.62 23.83
Weaver, Judy Architect, Digital Platform $111,697.74 $138,194.81 23.72
Kerr, Amanda Recreation Planner $103,194.02 $127,286.39 23.35
Bethlehem, Gerald Building Inspector $100,414.34 $123,658.76 23.15
Savrnoch, Gerald Building Inspector $100,545.64 $123,653.19 22.98
Malik, Umar Stormwater Engineer, Development $115,485.79 $141,089.04 22.17
Mahrous, Ebtessam Architect, Building $103,014.34 $125,849.61 22.17
Naismith, Andrea Consultant, Organizational Development $101,103.42 $123,295.77 21.95
Obal, Leigh-Ann Business Partner, Human Resources $110,944.95 $134,901.16 21.59
Boyd, Laura Executive Director, Human Resources $211,310.92 $256,119.08 21.20
Mchugh, Tina Manager, Data Analytics and Visualization $116,705.43 $141,019.05 20.83
Gagliano, Michael Architect, Digital Platform $107,585.83 $129,807.30 20.65
Mark, Kristen Application Analyst $129,210.15 $155,134.14 20.06
Rabeau, Marion Manager, Design and Construction – Parks $126,372.16 $151,688.54 20.03
Farbotko, Michael Architect, Digital Platform $113,640.45 $136,135.61 19.80
Garcha, Kulbir Manager, Information Technology Systems $136,513.08 $163,532.43 19.79
Robichaud, Lynn Manager, Environmental Sustainability $118,676.33 $141,670.27 19.38
Kennedy, Trudy Manager, Building Inspections and Deputy Chief Building Official $131,370.09 $156,128.34 18.85
Renner, Kirsten Supervisor, Payroll Services $100,595.14 $119,322.73 18.62
King, Chris Manager, Transportation Operations $104,303.14 $123,701.59 18.60
Schut, Paul Data Modeler $104,471.20 $123,677.97 18.38
Maas, Andrew Manager, Asset Planning $131,568.75 $155,165.03 17.93
Woods, Donna Business Partner, Human Resources $114,109.63 $134,295.75 17.69
Beishuizen, Roy Firefighter $103,659.33 $121,913.73 17.61
Yaromich, Janine Manager, Design and Construction – Roadways $132,755.44 $156,084.05 17.57
Plas, Kyle Manager, Development and Design $138,949.20 $163,114.45 17.39
Swioklo, Paul Manager, Corporate Fleet $102,383.70 $119,889.34 17.10
Maxwell, Sandra Manager, Festival and Events $102,780.96 $120,246.78 16.99
Filice, Suzanne Senior Business Partner, Labour Relations $114,658.16 $134,124.36 16.98
Enns, Alison Manager, Policy and Community Initiatives $133,664.96 $156,184.64 16.85
Clark, Cary Manager, Development and Stormwater Engineering $142,428.20 $166,384.24 16.82
Wing, Paul Firefighter $102,973.19 $120,060.90 16.59
Baldelli, Catherine Director, Transit $149,493.96 $174,144.74 16.49
Spence, Jennifer Manager, Recreation, Community and Culture Community Development $106,365.67 $123,815.43 16.41
Evfremidis, Susan Manager, Human Resource Services $129,514.06 $150,569.66 16.26
Dwyer, Michelle Manager, Engagement and Volunteers $111,362.63 $129,277.88 16.09
Holloway, Corry Fire Prevention Inspector $112,486.52 $130,088.27 15.65
Temoche, Peter Firefighter $138,352.86 $159,879.31 15.56
Higman, William Senior Plans Examiner $102,956.62 $118,966.26 15.55
Foster, Chris Public Safety Telecommunicator $118,437.14 $136,831.29 15.53
Puletto, Jenna Manager, Planning Implementation $113,503.62 $130,919.40 15.34
D’Angelo, Amanda Supervisor, Planning Services and Committee of Adjustment $105,859.82 $121,741.72 15.00
Jurczyk, Maciej City Auditor $155,481.78 $178,554.83 14.84
Armstrong, Samantha Captain $130,827.54 $149,751.06 14.46
Moore, Michelle Supervisor, Financial Reporting $137,636.23 $157,542.82 14.46
Cowman, Peter Supervisor, Field Services $106,365.09 $121,535.96 14.26
Collins, Scott Captain $143,432.56 $163,107.67 13.72
Vanderlelie, Daniel Platoon Chief $155,071.80 $176,127.68 13.58
Weake, Brad Manager, Tyandaga Golf Club $112,472.06 $127,470.65 13.34
Yuill, Melissa Analyst, Total Compensation $113,303.82 $128,401.90 13.33
Tiamiyu, Adedunmola Business Analyst $102,701.57 $116,175.89 13.12
Kummer, Craig Director, Transportation Services $180,785.86 $204,018.42 12.85
Davren, Kerry Manager, By-Law Enforcement $130,493.51 $147,230.57 12.83
O’Reilly, Sandra Controller and Manager, Financial Services $151,874.12 $171,229.94 12.74
Peterson, Richard Building Inspector $111,344.99 $125,441.38 12.66
Turner, Brett Firefighter $123,677.97 $139,102.66 12.47
Jivan, Lori Supervisor, Budgets and Policies $128,894.13 $144,900.01 12.42
Boyd, Brett Supervisor, Cemetery Operations $105,502.43 $118,556.60 12.37
Ullah, Sef Manager, Strategy and Portfolio Management $129,552.45 $145,440.78 12.26
Selkirk, Colleen Specialist, Procurement $100,445.76 $112,246.24 11.75
Macdonald, Chad Executive Director, Digital Service and Chief Information Officer $192,306.17 $214,654.08 11.62
Bird, Marc-Andrew Manager, Recreation, Community and Culture Customer Experience and Marketing $105,462.82 $117,653.54 11.56
Pavlou, Kathy Senior Plans Examiner $102,836.60 $114,688.02 11.52
Medeiros, Joshua Project Manager, Site Engineering $102,516.79 $114,313.57 11.51
Krizan, Steve Senior Plans Examiner $101,556.55 $113,176.19 11.44
Mcisaac, Jeffrey Supervisor, Site Engineering $107,325.81 $119,578.80 11.42
Trella, Rich Manager, Recreation, Community and Culture Facility Operations $108,958.14 $121,381.15 11.40
Thorburn, Philip Deputy Fire Chief $163,407.25 $181,717.60 11.21
Akinloye, Florence Supervisor, Accounting Services $113,647.29 $126,177.99 11.03
Rukundo, Maxine Business Analyst $107,601.08 $119,361.14 10.93
Pedlar, Tom Supervisor, Energy and Emissions $106,034.59 $117,608.51 10.92
Duncan, Brian Supervisor, Roads, Parks and Forestry Technical Services $109,713.22 $121,680.93 10.91
Hagley, Robert Supervisor, Customer Experience $101,438.26 $112,495.86 10.90
Martin, Christopher Incident Safety Officer $148,072.93 $164,212.84 10.90
Ako-Adjei, Kwab Director, Corporate Communications and Engagement $183,423.83 $203,370.23 10.87
Kewell, John Senior Plans Examiner $109,928.18 $121,862.39 10.86
Rodgers, Mark Firefighter $114,323.26 $126,445.98 10.60
Sidhu, Kirpal Transit Operator $102,497.59 $113,362.26 10.60
Ellis, Rebecca Supervisor, Landscape Architecture $100,431.29 $111,049.12 10.57
Cook, Kelly Senior Planner, Policy $101,173.99 $111,825.25 10.53
Romlewski, Samantha Senior Planner, Community Initiatives $101,174.03 $111,825.22 10.53
Tuomi, Alyshia Supervisor, Asset Management $106,972.07 $118,219.95 10.51
Girgis, Hany Transit Operator $121,617.68 $134,151.55 10.31



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12 comments to The significant salary increases during 2023 are not the only problem facing the city – the revolt on the part of a majority of Council members is very serious

  • Albert

    The “Sunshine List” should be adjusted for inflation. Since this annual exercise started in 1995, $100k now equals about $160k

  • Jim Barnett

    After reading the list a couple of times, I think there is a new definition of obscene. When you read this information along with the sunshine list it is easy to conclude that politicians of all stripes at all levels are out of control. Unfortunately these same politicians are in the same trough enjoying the largess they provide for themselves.

  • Olivia

    This is absolutely insane. In the public sector (mental health and community services), we have been getting 1% increases per year. When I see 20% raises on already inflated salaries…. Wow.

  • Jim Barnett

    After reading the list a number of times, I think we have a new definition for obscene. It is the pay grades and size of increases for government employees. When you add this information to the recent publication of the sunshine list you can see the need to start over. It will be hard since the people who can correct the problem are deep in the trough themselves.

  • Linda Papps

    The rest of us are on a strict budget!

  • Robert Thomas

    The firemen are at work 8 days a month( 24 hr shifts)which a significant
    portion is deemed downtime( everyone needs proper rest every 24 hours).

    How is overtime calculated. If they are woken up from their paid time sleeping to attend an event, would that be overtime? Is overtime calculated if any “work”
    time impedes into their downtime. Any clarification would be helpful.

    We have fireman on our street that always seem to be home. Not knocking individual fire folks……but the system seems in need of some
    Fine tuning.

  • Grahame

    I don’t recall teachers and nurses getting annual raises like these.Who decides Santa Claus???

    • Syd

      I’d like to read the doublespeak if the City were asked outright for an answer to your very legitimate question. Of course, the raises go towards explaining the unconscionable rise in our taxes. Although I guess some of those raises match the property tax percentage increase – probably not for the rank and file workers though…..

  • Donna

    Not sure why the City of Burlington needs a Planning Department because the Developers are making all the decisions.

  • Caren

    This is totally insane!! No wonder our Property Taxes are so high. People working in the Private sector are lucky if they get between 1 and 2% per year.

    These salaries, plus all the other money our City Council spends on their vanity and Legacy projects needs to stop! Residents can’t afford all of their multiple and ongoing projects which are Not needed and Not necessary.

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