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Metro Vancouver’s top executive a no-show for meeting amid salary questions

Click to play video: 'Metro Vancouver wastewater cost overruns ‘review’ surprises finance committee'
Metro Vancouver wastewater cost overruns ‘review’ surprises finance committee
The announcement that Metro Vancouver would launch an 'independent review' of its massive wastewater plant cost overruns took a lot of people by surprise, including the members of its own finance committee. The members also have questions about the salary of one of their top executives. Catherine Urquhart reports – Jun 19, 2024

The top executive at Metro Vancouver didn’t show up for a critical finance committee meeting on Wednesday, amid questions about his salary and the growing controversy about the cost of the North Shore Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Chief Administrative Officer Jerry Dobrovolny was absent from the regional district’s Finance Committee meeting, despite having attended previous meetings.

Click to play video: 'Metro Vancouver’s top bureaucrat makes more than $700K a year'
Metro Vancouver’s top bureaucrat makes more than $700K a year

Global News was told he wouldn’t be available to answer questions. And there were many questions from members of the committee, including about Dobrovolny’s salary.

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“I think it came as quite a surprise to the public in terms of the accumulative amounts of money,” North Vancouver City Mayor Linda Buchanan said.

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Dobrovolny earned a base salary in 2023 of more than $451,000, plus $222,000 for retroactive pay and health and pension benefits, along with $37,000 in expenses.

The total cost to taxpayers is more than $711,000.

Click to play video: 'Metro Vancouver wastewater cost overruns ‘review’ surprises finance committee'
Metro Vancouver wastewater cost overruns ‘review’ surprises finance committee

Delta Councilor Dylan Kruger asked staff about the salary, saying, “In my experience compensation increases typically would be in lieu of, not in addition to.”

And then there were questions about the North Shore wastewater treatment plant, which is $3 billion over budget and will be a huge burden for taxpayers.

On Tuesday Metro Vancouver Chair George Harvie suddenly announced there would be a review of the wastewater plant issue, a decision that excluded members of the finance committee.

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Kruger said he had learned about the review while watching Global News.

Mayor Buchanan said North Vancouver will be putting forward a formal complaint.

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