$300,000 CFO "took a big pay cut" says Mayor Robertson

Post by Mike Klassen in


CTV on CFO Patrice Impey's big score - watch the video

Kudos to Shannon Paterson and CTV News for picking up the story of Patrice Impey's gold-plated, 20-year benefits package. Yesterday, CityCaucus.com broke the news of the new Vancouver CFO winning the lottery as far as civil service pay packages go. Today we learned that the hiring was done by City Manager Penny Ballem, and City Council was not aware of all the details of the contract despite signing off on it.

Mayor Robertson repeated the claim we've heard multiple times from City Hall that Ms. Impey "took a big pay cut" to earn the $224,000 position, plus $45,000 worth of paid vacation, plus a pension plan the equivalent of a 20-year city employee. If so, shouldn't we be paying CFO what she is worth in salary, and not through hidden and costly perks?

Robertson defended the hiring, saying that Ms. Impey's "lifetime of experience" made her worth the money. According to her bio that "lifetime" equals "15 years of senior experience in finance and administration roles." I guess now the year Schindler's List earned the Oscar for Best Picture to now constitutes a lifetime.

Asked by Paterson whether he got 10 weeks vacation per year, the Mayor smirked that he'd "be lucky to get two weeks off." If that's the case, we expect that he won't take any more time off until 2010. He's already taken at least that much time off since taking office just over 4 months ago – during the Snowmageddon disaster of late December, and more time off during March.

The crew down at CityCaucus Towers are in discussions whether to start a Gregor "vacation watch clock" to see if he lives by that 2-week of vacation per year commitment.

UPDATE: CKNW follows this story, and News1130 is too. Now the Vancouver Sun, the Globe and Mail & of course, The Great Defender.


Good job on breaking this one.
Was there any details about a pension in the contract? That would make the pay look like peanuts.

Most city workers retire with a pension worth 70% of their salary. Guaranteed for life, guaranteed to increase every year and 60% goes to spouse whether they have pension or not.

A city employee retiring at $100K has a $70K pension worth $1.4 million. How many employees have one of these?

Find out what is happening with city pensions at Fair Pensions For All blog.

Keep up the good work.

CityCaucus.com provides the best, the brightest, and the most thoughtful political commentary originating in this country. Your writers consistently deliver a level of sophisticated journalistic excellence that gives me new hope that the profession will not entirely give way to 120-second 'in depth' reporting.

Thank you.

Wow, thanks, T and Bill. Everyone around here is just trying to shake things up from the usual sources of information, which we agree in far too many cases have become stale.

Like we said from the start, we're city people interested in the life of cities - the planning, the people, the politics. Thankfully, there will always be lots for us to talk about.

there is a bigger picture here. I would suggest that if the 10 weeks vacation is standard fare as an annual vacation for any senior staff then the City's benefits administration is way out of whack with what the private sector gets. If the City can do without the services of a CFO for ten weeks annually then we need to be concerned with the amount of financial oversight the City's operations are getting. Do other senior staff get that benefit? Especially the City Manager? If that is so, then I would suggest that previous political administrations have been negligent.

This is ridiculous that everyone is crying over the pay rate of a CFO!! What is the big deal. If any of the readers here have ever worked in the private sector, you will know that CFOs make a lot more than 220K a year when you include base pay, stock options and other incentives.

You get what you pay for. We complaint about how the city is run and how we need to have bright and dedicated people, but how are we going to attract them without the appropriate incentives package. Especially given the difficult economic climate, I would want someone with a lot of experience to run the show.

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