Calgary's city council learned Monday more than $300,000 in overtime pay was paid to senior directors for their work during the June flood.
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi told CBC News that he doesn't like the policy that allowed for the overtime to be paid and that it needed to be changed, but, at the same time, he doesn't support a "witch hunt" to investigate who asked for the overtime and how much they were paid.
“They’re very well compensated professionals. These are people who make more that the aldermen, some of them make more than the mayor,” he said.
"I think that part of being a professional is you don't clock in 9 to 5 every day."
Ald. Richard Pootmans agreed with Nenshi, telling the Calgary Herald last weekend, "if you are in a senior enough position that you influence the performance of the department and the budget, and therefore eligible for bonuses, then I would think that would make you ineligible for overtime."
According to the Calgary Herald, some of the 28 directors, who hold the third-highest ranking positions in Calgary's municipal system, put in overtime forms, although it is unknown how many claims were made.
Council voted down Ald. Colley-Urquhart's motion that called for a report on the payments.
“We have to motivate those people so that they’re not giving a second’s thought to whether or not we should handle this emergency," said city manager Owen Tobert in a heated exchange with Colley-Urquhart, adding that these individuals gave up a lot, including holidays, to help out, the Calgary Herald reports.
“Mr. Tobert, respectfully, a lot of people did,” Colley-Urquhart replied.
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