At the Council meeting tonight, the chair of the Council Remuneration Ad Hoc Committee Terry Stopps presented his findings. The goal was to provide potential Councillors with an indication of what they would be paid before they applied. So the recommendation was just in time – tomorrow (May 1st) is the first day that potential candidates for the upcoming election in October can file their application to run. The committee of citizens met to consider what the compensation should be and they came up with a basis for a decision. They looked at remuneration in 20 comparable towns and decided to recommend the median of what they paid. When asked “why the median?” Terry said that it was fair and the median “takes out outliers”. He also said that there was no data to support (or otherwise) a premium such as using the 60th percentile.
One contentious issue is that currently, one-third of the salary is tax free because it’s considered an “undocumented expense”. The most recent Federal Liberal budget indicated that this benefit would be removed so there was a suggestion that salaries should be increased to compensate for this loss. The committee decided against this because it was not clear what comparable municipalities would be doing. That is, they deferred a decision on this.
Another thought put forward was that Councillors should be considered full-time since many do in fact work full-time hours. Coupled with this is that Councillors do not have offices but work out of their homes. Also, the workload of councillors varies significantly. The committee felt that this was a broader issue and deserved more study and was perhaps something to be undertaken by the next council.
The previous by-law allowed expenses to be charged for spouses that accompanied Councillors to conventions etc. The committee said that this should be discontinued since in the ”modern view” it was not appropriate. Forrest Rowden said that given the load on spouses, the reimbursement was a small reward for what they do – he estimated about $1000 per year.
20 towns they looked at
1 Jan 2017
|4||Niagara on the Lake||17,511||6,691||45,200||N/A||14,300|
|8||Town of Cobourg||19,440||8,958||34,720||21,851||17,528|
When asked why Port Hope was not one of the Towns, the answer was that it did not fit in the population sample – it was too small.
|Salary||Benefit Value||Salary||Benefit Value|
Annual CPI adjustments will apply.
Although at this point Council simply accepted the report for information purposes, since all councillors were in general agreement with the recommendations, actions will no doubt be taken to ensure that the salaries indicated will be in force for the new council in 2019. Update – May3: This recommendation is on the Council’s agenda on the C.O.W. meeting on May 14. The only “change” is an effective date of Dec 3, 2018 to coincide no doubt with the swearing in of a new council.
- Report from committee (without full appendices – see Town’s web site)
- Progress with Remuneration Ad Hoc Committee – 16 March 2018