By Trevor Busch
The Town of Taber now has a management bonus program in place, and a maximum of $20,000 can be handed out annually to various managers at the discretion of CAO Cory Armfelt and town council.
The program came into place under the direction of previous council during fall 2016 to commence in 2017, with the impetus of council in implementing the program as an effort to financially reward high-performing managers. At that time, the program was adopted within the management agreement between the CAO office and the management staff.
“I know with other managers — not including the CAO — within the town there is a bonus system in place,” said Mayor Andrew Prokop in an interview in late November. “It’s $20,000 that’s available, and it’s up to the CAO to use all or part of that as he sees fit for that bonus grid. So every manager doesn’t necessarily end up with any bonus, but there is that money available.”
Discussion of the management bonus program came up during a recent meeting of the Taber Municipal Police Commission, where Taber Police Service Chief Graham Abela’s eligibility for the program was being considered.
“The direction is that I bring forward to council at the last meeting in 2017 my suggested list of those employees entitled to a bonus and what I feel each employee should be awarded,” said Armfelt. “Through a conversation between myself and council we will finalize the list of employees receiving a bonus. This is for management staff only as it is written into the management contract. As such, because I have my own contract, I am ineligible to be part of the bonus system.”
According to Armfelt, the program eligibility is up to the discretion of himself and council.
“It’s our CAO that’s making that decision, and it’s dealing with performance, making their budget, that sort of thing,” continued Prokop. “It’s fairly in depth as far as what’s all involved. It’s for management that are able to go the extra mile in a given year, and warrants some form of extra remuneration.”
Armfelt noted that although the program has a $20,000 maximum, this won’t always be fully distributed on an annual basis.
“I don’t believe you’d ever go that total to one manager, for example,” said Prokop. “But it’s there for his discretion to divvy up accordingly as he sees fit, and report to council about it. It’s a common practice for municipalities to go that route if there’s monies available.”