When Deputy Chief Scott Green becomes Saanich’s top cop on Aug. 1, he will earn $230,493.40.
“It is equivalent to Chief [Bob] Downie’s contract salary set in 2017, but reflective of inflationary increases,” said Sgt. Julie Fast of the Saanich Police Department, adding that Downie’s contract did not include annual wage increases.
Under the terms of his contract signed in 2017, Downie earned $222,711.
“When Green is promoted, he will remain as an employee of Saanich with a compensation package inclusive of benefits and vacation, just like all other employees,” said Fast. “He will not be on contract.”
The District introduced Green as Saanich’s future chief constable at a press conference Thursday.
Downie retired from Saanich Police on July 31, 2017, only to be rehired as a contractor for two years (with one unused optional year) with an annual salary of approximately $222,711 plus benefits, vacation, leaves of absence and expense reimbursements.
Under this arrangement, Saanich paid Downie $378,790 in combined retirement allowance and accrued time.
The move drew considerable criticism from Saanich taxpayers but then-mayor Richard Atwell defended the arrangement as a “good deal for Saanich taxpayers” because it saved more than $22,000 and decoupled Downie’s salary from the collective agreement.
The arrangement eventually inspired a row between Atwell and the rest of council when they sent Atwell a letter that lamented his communication style (Saanich’s mayor also chairs the Saanich Police Board).