KAWARTHA LAKES-Kawartha 411 News has learned that former City of Kawartha Lakes Fire Chief Mark Pankhurst was paid almost $158,000 in 2022. He retired from the job in 2021.
According to the Ontario Sunshine List, a public sector salary disclosure list of anyone making over $100,000 year, Pankhurst was paid a salary of $157,922.96 last year.
Pankhurst announced his retirement on May 28th 2021, effective June 30, 2021.
We have asked the City why someone who no longer worked for the City was paid a year’s “salary” by the taxpayer. This is the response from CAO Ron Taylor:
“Employee compensation must be reported in accordance with the parameters of the Public Sector Salary Disclosure Act, which the City has done. All other aspects of an employment relationship are confidential and therefore we are not able to share any further details.”
Pankhurst had been fire chief for 10 years and with the City, and the former Mariposa Township, for more than 28 years in various positions within the Fire Service.
The retirement came at a time when volunteer firefighters reported morale within the fire service was low and that at least one firefighter was suspended from the Kirkfield fire hall amid what appeared to be a growing divide within the ranks.
A week before the announcement volunteer firefighters joined CUPE and ratified a new contract. Read more here :https://www.kawartha411.ca/2021/05/20/volunteer-firefighters-join-cupe-ratify-new-contract/
At the time of his retirement announcement, Pankhurst said he looked forward to getting back to some hobbies and spending time at the cottage but later became Deputy Fire Chief, Ajax Fire & Emergency Services according to his Twitter account.
The top three earners in the City all received raises last year. City CAO Ron Taylor tops the list with a salary of $205,081.63. In 2021 he made $201,052.81. Police Chief Mark Mitchell is the second highest-paid City worker at $198,998.60 followed by City solicitor Robyn Carlson at $184,294.61. Mitchell made $180,196.98 in 2021 and Carlson made $173,723 giving each a raise of more than $11,000 year over year.