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City reveals its top earners

Friday, March 21, 2014   by: Bob Mihell

The city finance department has made public its list of employees earning salaries over $100,000 for 2013 in council’s Monday agenda.

The so called “sunshine list," published annually since 1996 by Ontario’s Ministry of Finance as part of its Public Salary Disclosure Act, reveals that municipal employees making over the $100,000 benchmark jumped to 124 for 2013, up from 105 reported for 2012, according to the staff report.

The Ministry of Finance has yet to make its salary disclosure list public, although it is anticipated that would happen near the end of March.

Employees of Sault Ste. Marie Police Service accounted for the largest increase joining the $100,000 club, with 67 listed, up from 55 in 2012.

The top three salary earners among municipal employees disclosed for 2013 were Police Chief Robert Davies at $199,099.83 (up from $193,465.91 in 2012); Chief Administrative Officer Joe Fratesi at $195,741.70 (up from $187,207.53 in 2012); and Deputy Police Chief Bob Kates at $176,341.01 (up from $171,367.75 in 2012).

Check back for an update on this story.

Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
iamtc 3/21/2014 4:40:55 PM Report

They work hard for their money!
Tills 3/21/2014 4:43:27 PM Report

Yep we all do, it's just those who are on the city coffers that receive the annual raises.UG
fortytwo 3/21/2014 4:52:56 PM Report

Looks like 2.9% increase was tightening their belts (except Joe, his is 4.5%).

Year-over-year growth in average weekly earnings by province, December 2012 to December 2013

Ontario was 1.9% increase for 2013 (bottom of provinces)
Alystr 3/21/2014 5:13:06 PM Report

Amazing what all these clowns make. Must be nice to make that kind of coin and and never step outside to do a damn thing. Impressive. I say Canada should build their own government and make the proper changes with illegal aliens and actually do something for the people who created this country not the people who could care less.
steelworker 3/21/2014 5:16:27 PM Report

The City says "Thank you, suckers!". Oh by the way; stand by for ANOTHER tax increase next year.
rjs 3/21/2014 5:17:02 PM Report

SooBuddy 3/21/2014 5:24:57 PM Report

You think that's a lot, you should see what government employees make, and we have to pay taxes for that?
t55 3/21/2014 5:32:33 PM Report

lets see how many clowns at that joke of a hospital that make over a hundred grand.
And how many more at city hall.
Boop 3/21/2014 5:33:25 PM Report

It will be interesting to see the incomes at SAH.
Javaman 3/21/2014 5:51:05 PM Report

WHY DO we need a deputy chief?
sAUCEY 3/21/2014 6:02:52 PM Report

So Mr. Davies and Mr. Kates make around 375,000$ a year combined and both agree that SSM is in need of more officers but lack of funding makes this an impossibilite. SO these men should be more like QBs in the fact that if you want a great team you need sacrifice so take a pay cut to get better guys. if bot emn would cut down to 100,000 and just under the city could dress 4 more uniforms at 45 TO 50K salary...

rockbanger 3/21/2014 6:35:54 PM Report

In a fascist society the rulers on top always take the most from the peasants.

Soon all the teachers, firemen, police, nurses and majority of government workers will move past the $100,000 per year mark... not including the benefit package and eventual pensions.

Then add a 2.5% raise per year each year and we can just go bankrupt now. This is not sustainable. Private sector raises are in the 1% range.

Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

DINOBOY 3/21/2014 6:39:15 PM Report

Oh suck it up...They deserve every penny they make...How much would you want if you were doing their thankless job ?
clicksmart 3/21/2014 6:50:43 PM Report

Most of the those mentioned profession's are over or nearly over the $100,000 mark once they get move to top rate. Good for them. They earn every penny.
flyhawk25 3/21/2014 6:57:17 PM Report

I know all three and they are talented fellows.But holy cow who does the checks and balances on this?
Davies is retiring but why would Joe retire.
This isn't tarring roofs.You go to work and make a wack of money.You retire and get to sleep in and are set for life.
AlwaysAWinner 3/21/2014 7:35:41 PM Report

all I see is jealously, jealously, jealousy

keep complaining. their salaries aren't the problem, it's peoples expectations. keep whining, at the end of the day it's yourself to blame.
muf 3/21/2014 7:56:59 PM Report

45- 50 grand for 4 more uniforms ??? you gotta be kidding !!
Sam C 3/21/2014 8:00:53 PM Report

You know what would be interesting, to see a list of EVERYONE's salaries, public and private sector.

Nobody gives a rat's furry back end if buddy makes over $100 grand working at Widget World, but if his salary comes from "our tax dollars" it's cause for outrage.

So, what should the maximum public-sector salary be... $20k? $30k? Who gets to decide how much is too much?

Ask yourselves if you're getting paid what you believe you are worth, or if you would turn down $100,000 salary.

I think AlwaysAWinner hit the nail on the head... "jealousy" rears its ugly head.
theprotector 3/21/2014 8:08:03 PM Report

Rockbanger the average public servant makes less tha a general labourer. I dont know where you get tour info from. Most benefit packages are less rhan 400 per month.
Entitledtomyopinion 3/21/2014 8:18:20 PM Report

Bring back communism and see how hard they work - they would put as much into their jobs as a 16 year old flipping burgers at McDonalds.
Me myself and I 3/21/2014 8:19:21 PM Report

With all the perks I find that rather hard to believe!
selma 3/21/2014 8:27:51 PM Report

Agree with BOOP that we need to see hospital postings. They will exceed these three by miles and have far too many in senior positions. Look on the SAH web site and see their Sr. Mgt positions. Fill out their so called "SAH consultation" document"
lisaanne 3/21/2014 8:30:36 PM Report

I would absolutely love to know if each of you on the jealous train have combed through their job description to know that they do "NOTHING" or never "GET OUT". People in these positions have dedicated their lives to achieve such a career working up the ladder promotion after promotion. Good for them.
David Poluck 3/21/2014 8:33:27 PM Report

Who determines the pay scale for city staff?
I understand the union positions are covered under contracts.
Are we on par with other communities of our size in regards to managerial pay scale?

ThinkAgain 3/21/2014 8:49:50 PM Report

You can only get some much before the money runs out, look at Detroit. Sad to see so many desk jobs do so little, hard to justify pushing the pencil.

Joe created his own job (COA)when he was acting major for the term and jumped in his home made position right after - he couldn't pass his bar exam but he was smart enough to outwit council.

All municipal, provincial, federal positions in Canada all the same, most are appointed and not many are elected.
Grecks-Scrub 3/21/2014 9:00:03 PM Report

I have to admitt the responses here at sootoday make great entertainment. So whats stopping you complainers from making over $100k??? Try going to school and getting an education...Lots of people whine about how much money they make but have no idea on what it takes to get there. ..You dont get paid for what you get paid for what you know.
jonesur 3/21/2014 9:05:05 PM Report

The public disclosure act was instituted in the mid nineties so "joe public" would have an understanding of where their tax dollar was going. A good concept, however the $100,000 measure is far outdated for the 21st century and needs to be recalibrated. $200,000 or more would be a good benchmark, as the previous value is barely a liveable wage today.
stephy17 3/21/2014 9:07:52 PM Report

i also see all these comments as jealousy . if you like the way those numbers look get off the computer go to school to become a police officer like these people have done and then become one that thinks these comments are ridiculous . i don't think they should be able to even post there anyone's income because it allows people to come up with a reason to complain . Regardless of anyone's thoughts on a police officers duties i assure you if they weren't there when needed I imagine there would be more complaints on the amount of crime in the city then!. They do work for these hard earned dollars so maybe don't be so quick to judge!
LogicalAnalysis 3/21/2014 9:16:43 PM Report

The comment about who makes what in the private sector is pretty accurate. We don't see a posting of all the small business owners that brought in over $1,000,000 in the same year. Nor do we see what senior management is making at Essar Steel.

If we want good people in the public sector, the public sector has to pay competitive wages. I think the saying "you get what you pay for" applies.
sweetthing 3/21/2014 9:53:30 PM Report

They might want to take some of their pay and fix the roads they say it will get worse really and they don't work that hard lol
Working Man 3/21/2014 9:57:54 PM Report

I have a hard time believing that the Sault doesn't have even 1 radiologist, or even 1 psychiatrist that makes over 100grand per year(at least according to last years disclosure)!

Might as well not go to school then. I'm not going to pummel my brain for 12 years(not to mention racking up hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt) for anything under 100grand/yr. I'd say that type of education would be worth at least 200grand/year, even more.

If a doctor goes to school for even 7 years, that is worth over 100grand/yr. I'm not going to do school work for 12hours a day, rack up huge debt, for 7 years for nothing.

If anybody doesn't agree with my previous comment. I don't even know what to tell you without getting my comment deleted.
suckerminnows 3/21/2014 10:03:01 PM Report

nice roads we have in the sunshine city eh boys
Justin Tetreault 3/21/2014 10:05:14 PM Report


This is just the list of employees employed by the City of Sault Ste. Marie. Hospital employees are employed by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. They are not city employees.
stephy17 3/21/2014 10:43:41 PM Report

@ sweething

so why should they take theyre pay instead of yours and fix the roads because they make more? And are you a cop how would you know what theyre daily work load is.
Working Man 3/21/2014 10:44:13 PM Report

Justin Tetreault,

I didn't say that they were 'city' employees. I said they were government employees as our taxes pay for them. The SAH employees are on the sunshine list also.

I have no idea why you replied to me as you didn't reply to anything I said.

Hunter101 3/21/2014 10:51:57 PM Report

Amazing all the jealous buffoons on here.
justpassingtime 3/21/2014 11:01:10 PM Report

Doctors don't show up on the sunshine list because technically they set themselves up as a corporation and bill OHIP for their services. Only pathologists are listed as they are employed directly by the hospitals. It would be similar to any supplier to a hospital. They wouldn't list the money paid out to contractors or other companies.
Mandini 3/21/2014 11:03:02 PM Report

If anyone wants to see what upper management at Essar makes, just check out the HRDC job bank. They're usually hiring a CFO or CEO of some type.
sootodayreader 3/21/2014 11:20:13 PM Report

Davis makes almost 200k with no University.
Lol, he can't even catch a bank robber while he is in the bank with the thief.
Boop 3/21/2014 11:24:41 PM Report

Just saying.....maybe not this year but in years past SAH employees who made over $100,000 a year were printed in the Sault Star. A large number of these employees were Nurses in the Er. Believe me they earned every penny....the top brass have proven again and again that they don^t earn it! They sit up in their lofty towers and make outrageous demands on their staff. Just wait something will happen and then the truth will come out. And just for the record I am Not the least bit jealous....Professionals are a breed of their own.
Working Man 3/22/2014 12:12:12 AM Report


Hmm, that makes more sense now. I've always wondered why certain doctors that I personally know aren't on that list, even though I know they are making huge cash flow(and deserve it).


Any proof regarding his lack of education, or regarding your comment about the bank robbery. Even if he was in a bank whilst robbed, what would you expect him to do? Do you suddenly expect him to turn into a cop? He's not superman!

To everybody else,

With the hours I work, I don't even make 100grand/yr, but I realize that those people that put in a decade of time with whatever they're doing deserve it!!

An Electrician's base wage is what 60-70grand/yr(after 5 years experience-entry-level)? It doesn't require education, but if somebody puts brutal time in medical school it deserves at least 100grand per year, I believe a lot more so...
Snobank 3/22/2014 12:16:34 AM Report

Sootoday should copy the above whining ignorant comments and just repeat them after next year's sunshine list and then the year after's list and so on. They're always the same, dumb people complaining because someone else is paid more than them. Get a life.
eadiecougs 3/22/2014 1:00:26 AM Report

snobank your a idiot we the middle class can't afford no more the seniors are just getting by and these people get raises even freaking time while everyone else is on a wage freeze.enough is enough if u want to pay their salaries u pay them but the buck stops here .
lisaanne 3/22/2014 1:11:00 AM Report

Eadiecougs I guess you should of picked a different profession and higher education ... The only persons fault it is that you are in the"middle class" is your own. ..
keeper 3/22/2014 1:19:14 AM Report

You cannot blame the city employees for what was given to them by contract. You can blame the people that are supposed to look after the public purse, which in our case would be your wonderful councillors.

If you recall, a number of years ago our elected leaders decided with their great wisdom that it would be better to bargain with non- union and senior staff by placing two members of staff on the council’s bargaining team, (CAO, and Dir. Of Human Resources), which basically meant………. they were bargaining with themselves.

The process they agreed too and what they continue to follow, is why you have the Sault paying a lot more than cities of comparable size, Sarnia, Peterborough, etc. for equal jobs.

Every year this list comes out we hear the same old song and dance, and its getting old. Blame should be laid on council where it belongs .
Alystr 3/22/2014 3:26:29 AM Report

lisaanne, you must be one of their family members to actually believe that they deserve these salaries. Are you living in the same Sault that I am? This city has been falling down the toilet for at least 10 years. What are all these office dwellers doing about it? Let us know because it isn't anything visible.
David Poluck 3/22/2014 5:42:57 AM Report

After reading the comments it leaves me scratching my head.
Is it jealousy or envy of those that do earn the wages?
I don't feel that way and I think peoples expressions posted are something deeper than that.
I fall into the camp of those that wonder why there is such a need to pay such high wages at the municipal level and is there an upper limit
I believe in a fair wage for the duties and responsibilities that the job entails.

But I also am concerned by the figures provided that we may be exceeding our ability to afford and continue paying the high wages that are now common.

At some point this council or another will need to take a good hard look at where we are currently and the long term sustainability of continuing on as things are or make adjustments.

jojoe71 3/22/2014 7:14:06 AM Report

to put that into perspective to the layman who works for an hourly wage based on 40 hours a week. Chief of police earns $ 95.70 an hour and CIO Joe earns $ 94. an hour. I'm sure both of these men came from ordinary backgrounds. Whatever the station we attain in life is up to the individual.
Stugatzu 3/22/2014 7:24:39 AM Report

Except if you're Joe Fratesi... the guy who got his position by strong-arming the entire council into backing his decision to for CAO -- a job for life.

Yup.. the people WE voted into council participated in a conflict of interests situation that put good ole Joey into a nearly $200K /year job... that he can't get fired from, while he was still mayor of this city.

Yup... he sure serves his position..... as a lawyer, he just figured out another way to screw everyone -- with a smile on his face.
jojoe71 3/22/2014 8:11:21 AM Report

kinda what I just said. That's your opinion on how someone made choices to reach his goals. I think everyone of us as we go through life is seen as a prick to someone just as we all see certain people as pricks as we pass through life. The point is we all have the choices to do whatever we want in life. It's all about choices. And in the end we have to live with the choices we make. Unfortunately I believe this philosophy of life only comes with age as we reflect on our past. jmho.
B Boy 3/22/2014 8:29:26 AM Report

Once again, it's not what these people make, it's the results we're getting from the people in these positions.

The Soo's ranking is consistently dropping. Our standard of living is deteriorating and our crime getting worse, to only mention two. Do these positions typically deserve higher pay? Probably. Do these particular people deserve higher pay? In my opinion no, we're not getting much from them.
Javaman 3/22/2014 8:45:33 AM Report

Joe must laugh all the way to the bank when he reads these comments. He might even think some folks despise what he did to get his job. The job by the way ...that was approved by city council.
mr.monty 3/22/2014 9:27:09 AM Report

I would like to know why so many people are moving north from the soo. drive to goulais and see all the new houses that have gone up in the last few years. and they are not small houses either! I also know of 6 businesses that have moved from the soo because of high business taxes! there are 100 people dying every month and not many births. the soo will look like Detroit in 5 years unless you can find a way to attract new business, which I doubt. timmins is growing faster than the soo.
get out while you can.
beanie 3/22/2014 9:59:41 AM Report


I know cops and firemen with only grade 12 on this list! What more do they know? Maybe a case of who you know not what you know!
eadiecougs 3/22/2014 10:28:25 AM Report

lisaanne what job I have is none of your buss.I am talking about the tax increases evey year.the seniors cant afford these pay increases along with everyone else.I am not saying u should get for what u know but come on how about their wage freeze.You are paying their salary rem.this city lost alot of jobs in the past ten years we cannot support these salaries anymore the city has to tighten its belt as we do period have nothing to do with type of job.oh by the way over educated people know how to budget these at city hall dont.
SmAsHed 3/22/2014 11:34:21 AM Report

lisaanne: your comment earlier makes it sound as though you look down on those in the 'middle class'. Keep in mind that a lot of those people do have higher education but cannot find jobs in their field. It's a very common problem for a lot of graduates.

rockbanger 3/22/2014 12:49:06 PM Report

It was jealousy of the peasants that led to the Russian revolution. After near starvation and class segregation.

Anyone who makes a good living has done well. The REAL concern is how the paltry tax base in this small steel town can keep paying so many people so much money. It is just tax and spend mentality...

Fascist Pigs always justify living in the castle.
Until the peasants storm the castle...
We all know how that will end.

'The Mob Will Rule'...
dandrew61 3/22/2014 1:10:31 PM Report

@ beanie and all the others who feel the same. I too know firemen and cops who only have a grade 12 education but still make over 100k a year. You ask what they know that we don’t. They know what it’s like to pull a charred body from a burning building. They know what it’s like to attend to the body of a child who was just run over by a drunk or attend the children of a crack head parent. They know a lot of things you and I are lucky enough to never experience. That’s why we pay them their 100k+ salaries, so we can stay in the comfort of our homes and spend our time whining on sites like Sootoday while they take care of the problems in our society. They’re worth every penny of it.
mechtech43 3/22/2014 2:04:31 PM Report

City and Government workers have been getting raises since the late 70's while the private sector struggles in their own quest to keep their heads above the water. It is obscene on what the police officers make and also the fire department also. People will argue that they went to school for their profession but I know too many officers have maybe 2 years of community college. There are numerous people who are in the private sector with more education and making the average salary of $50-60 thousand per year. They should be thankful that the taxpayers don't have the right to vote on tax increases like their American counterparts. They would be afraid for their jobs.
S.M.A.R.T. 3/22/2014 2:05:02 PM Report

dandrew61. Are you for real? It's idiots like you who pontificate for the dramatic effect of making it seem like you know what you're talking about. And it's idiots like you who are going to shriek your A double S off when unmanageable debt makes you choke on your own idiotic comments. And maybe, just maybe the police and firefighters will actually earn their ridiculous pay trying to save us all from one another while at the same time trying to save their own skin as well. So go on! Make your A-Hole, self-indulgent comments!
lisaanne 3/22/2014 2:06:17 PM Report

All I have been trying to say is that these listed and more to come have earned their titles whether with educations, continuous training, exams, time and dedication, etc etc... you should not bash them as individuals..if someone offered me that wage I'm sure I would not say nahh thats way too much.. and by no means was I saying mid class range is a bad thing as that is exactly where I fall in the spectrum, I was saying if he was so unsatisfied with mid class it is his own fault..further yourself, move to a bigger city etc. It is city hall (our counsellors) that need to change the budgetary resources for municipal I dont think bashing the police department or crowns and everybodies job description is the way to solve overpaid municipal workers.
B Boy 3/22/2014 5:32:25 PM Report

I did a 4 month co-op placement with the Hamilton Fire Service in high school. They spent the majority of their time cleaning, cooking with occasional training. Easily 85% of their calls were false alarms and they turned the trucks around within minutes. They saw some nasty stuff, but that was less than occasionally.

Each one of them said they fully knew what they were getting into when they started. And LOTS had a second job because they slept their whole night shift often with no calls.

Should we also pay soldiers $100k plus each year? By this logic we should because they OFTEN see far WORSE than any police officer or fire fighter. I know because I was a soldier. I had rotations under UNPROFOR and UNTAC while I was a full-time infanteer with RCR. I became a soldier knowing what it was with a high probability of death. To expect people to drop at my feet and throw money at me would be ridiculous despite my constant training & education.

I think these salaries are disproportionately high.

B Boy 3/22/2014 6:11:34 PM Report

@Lisanne - for the first time in my life, I'm going to post this -> you're a complete idiot.

If someone isn't happy with their place in the middle class move to a different city? That is just idiotic logic.

Many of us have moved, gone to university/college, changed careers and participated in continuous learning & training. Many have taking steps to improve. Sometimes it comes down to luck, personality, who you know or a combination of all those things.

I actually was a police officer with a police service in southern Ontario but gave it up because it was too hard on my marriage, then moved here because my wife missed her family here. I was making decent money but not in the $100k range yet. I loved it but hated some parts like death notifications. But it's not a career you choose for money - it's a way of life. It's esoteric, so those who haven't done it wouldn't understand. I would not have turned down $100k /yr because that would be plain stupid, but given the perks of the career and the drawbacks, it is an inflated salary in my opinion.

Especially so for a city with a small population base.
eadiecougs 3/22/2014 6:16:08 PM Report

like the winter we been having freeze everyones salaries until the improve the roads and everything else.The taxpayers are sick of these increases of wages but services are scaled back.
B Boy 3/22/2014 7:10:47 PM Report

Maybe we can contact the Ontario Ombudsperson en masse and force action such as an in depth city audit.
lisaanne 3/22/2014 7:47:33 PM Report

Idiotic logic is to move fora better job? You being a police office at one time should understand ..join the rcmp you have to move same as opp and people do move to have a better job opportunities... I don't see how it makes me an idiot? But okay... I never said these were not extremely high wages im sure they are.. but again the problem is with the city not these individuals. But thanks for your name call. Appreciate a good discussion.
B Boy 3/22/2014 7:56:47 PM Report

@lisaanne - I apologize for the name calling. Stooping to that low is uncharacteristic of me.

I do maintain that your logic is a crass oversimplification. If things truly were that simple then there would be no issues.

Sault Ste Marie is horribly rife with nepotism and people who have positions because of who they know, not because of qualifications. That is why I maintain that many of the PEOPLE who make $100k+/yr here do not deserve it. Perhaps some of the positions do, but based on what these positions have achieved in SSM they do not deserve the pay.

In what other city would the chief continually get raises despite the increasing levels of crime as evidenced by the recent studies & publications? Normally this would result in a termination.
hookinontheside 3/22/2014 8:48:03 PM Report paramedics.
S.M.A.R.T. 3/23/2014 2:48:04 AM Report

The bottom line is simple. We cannot afford the salaries being paid by the government and government sponsored institutions such as PUC/Hydro, hospitals, schools, etc. The gravy train is unsustainable and that is all there is to it. Arguments pro and con can be made regarding the appropriateness of these huge salaries, but the fact is that we are up to our eyeballs in serious debt and there is not a political party with the expertise and intestinal fortitude to do anything about it. The potholes multiply and the desk jockeys prosper.
David Poluck 3/23/2014 7:05:20 AM Report

S.M.A.R.T and B Boy,
If it was in your power to make an adjustment. What would you do?
lowla 3/23/2014 8:43:26 AM Report

I don't think that many on the list are because of their "base salary", more likely because of overtime hours that they have worked.
Lleoy 3/23/2014 9:26:26 AM Report

You must also take into consideration, they get a car, gas, insurance and the best of benefits. That's a big chunk to. Well over $200,000,
Bobby Nerves 3/28/2014 8:12:17 PM Report

SMART, I share your principle.

Poluck, I'd mention many times before that the HR Department should be publicly advertised.

I'm no trying of diminish the job they are doing, but unfortunately when a pensioner is barely making ends meat, those salaries are a bit heavy to digest.

Many positions should be reviewed and all candidates must be evaluated based in qualifications, which I have no doubt all of the municipal staff posses.

The whole Budget must be reviewed and set objectives to reach, not to have a free tax community, but to minimize the tax increase and obtain the most product out of the moneys assigned to each department.

I have a question, How many street officers can we have with the salary of a deputy police chief?

I do not know the person, and I value the professionalism of our local Police Force, but probably is time to adjust the wish list and have three more officer on the street instead of and operations or a PR manager.

I'm satisfied with the overall performance of the local government, but it's hard for me to pay the taxes I'm contributing to pay salaries that I can never expect to earn in the rest of my life.
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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