EDMONTON -- An Edmonton councillor is frustrated with how many supervisors the city has hired in recent years and how much they're costing taxpayers.

A recent audit found the city added 316 supervisors between 2017 and 2019, in part costing Edmontonians more than $19 million in salaries and benefits.

"Right now we’re like a mushroom. We're too top heavy," Ward 11 Coun. Mike Nickel said.

In December 2018, union leaders claimed in a report the city could save $100 million over four years with cuts to middle management.

"We have been concerned about the significant increases in the management structure," said CSU 51 president Lanny Chudyk then.

"In some cases, we’ve seen directors with two managers, who each have two supervisors, who each have two team leads, all in management," added David Wilson in CSU 52.

City administration accepted the audit and committed to review staffing levels, with interim city manager Adam Laughlin saying the city needs to think differently.

However, Mayor Don Iveson stands by those hires. "Some of these positions that are technically classified as supervisors are the very project managers who we're hired in order to make sure that we deliver infrastructure projects more accountably, more on time, more on budget."

While Nickel is frustrated, he said he understands these are people's jobs but says the city is out of money.

The review is due back to council in time for fall budget talks.