We Tweeted about it here first...now word is coming out of City Hall late on Friday (quelle surprise on the timing just before the weekend) that the severance package for the former Chief Electrician dismissed by Mayor Roberston at an in-camera meeting on January 21st will cost taxpayers over $180,000.
The City of Vancouver originally said Mr. Ark Tsisserev had retired. Then word came out that he was the victim of restructuring due to budget cutbacks. Now we learn he has received a massive severance package which breaks down as follows:
- $153,102.50 for 15 months of base salary
- $12,243.04 in lieu of benefits
- $12,000 in lieu of pension contributions and service during the notice period
- $5,500 to provide the services of Right Management, a career transition consulting firm for a three month period
The City of Vancouver also agreed to provide Tsisserev with "a positive letter of reference signed by David McLellan". The full severance package and rationale for Tsisserev's departure can be viewed by clicking here.
Here are some preliminary observations on the materials that "coincidentally" leaked out of City Hall late today:
- Despite his apparent lack of knowledge regarding the termination, Mayor Robertson chaired the meeting.
- The City's report to terminate was only provided to Councillors less than two days before the decision was made on January 21st. This would have provided the elected officials little time to digest the information. Perhaps this partially explains why the Mayor didn't seem to remember terminating Mr. Tsisserev when he spoke to CTV news.
- Five days before the report was written to terminate Tsisserev, he "raised concerns about waiving the requirement to monitor the fire alarm systems at some Olympic special event facilities (Pavilions)." On January 19th, Tsisserev sent an email stating that he no longer had any concerns.
- The councillors were told they were letting the Chief Electrician go "in order to achieve efficiencies with respect to the 2010 budget..." However, they then proceeded to pay him out 15 months of salary which is money that could have kept him on staff until April 2011.
- The motion to terminate Tsisserev was moved by Councillor Meggs.
- While some media reports view the payout as not a lot, in our opinion $180,000 is a considerable chunk of change to pay an electrician regardless of their qualifications.
The fact this was "leaked" to select local media within minutes of it being emailed to council confirms that someone on the distribution list wanted this out on Friday afternoon after all the media had gone home for the week. Late this evening we were provided with a very good tip regarding who leaked that info, and we'll be reporting out on this once we have it confirmed. Stay tuned.