Note: This article has been updated from the version in the June 17, 2015, issue of the Review, with information provided after press time.
It cost the City of Revelstoke more than $200,000 to have former Chief Administrative Officer Tim Palmer retire early.
Palmer received 13 months salary, worth $151,667; 3.5 months of accrued vacation, worth $40,833; and $13,066.35 in lieu of benefits, for a total payout of $205,566.35.
Palmer retired in February, following the election of a new mayor and council. He has been serving as the interim CAO for the Village of Nakusp since early March.
Palmer earned $142,000 last year. The Review obtained the financial terms of his retirement agreement through a Freedom of Information request.
His contract called for an annual salary of $140,000, seven weeks of annual vacation, and severance of nine months pay plus one additional month for each full year of employment, as well six months of continued benefits.
Palmer started with the city in January 2011. His position at the city was tenuous following the November election. The fall campaign was marked by a dispute between Palmer and Alan Mason, the city’s director of economic development, that became public. Palmer suspended Mason, only to have council re-instate Mason and force Palmer to apologize.
Following the election, Mayor Mark McKee threw his support behind Mason.
The mayor had no comment on Palmer’s retirement package, saying he signed a confidentiality agreement.
It’s not unusual for a CAO to be let go when a new mayor and council is elected, and they usually come with hefty six-figure payouts.
How does Palmer’s severance compare to other B.C. communities? In Saanich, former CAO Paul Murray received almost $470,000. In Grand Forks, CAO Doug Allin received $192,000; he has since been re-hired. In Mission, Ken Bjorgaard received almost $389,000 to vacate his post, and it cost Maple Ridge $127,000 to get rid of its economic development manager.