On March 1st, the first meeting was held of the Ad Hoc committee charged with deciding on remuneration for Councillors and Police Board members in the next term of Council. As Deputy Mayor John Henderson explains in the video below, there is no methodology mandated as to how this should be done so John decided to create an Ad Hoc Advisory committee for the purpose. The idea was first put forward in September 2017 when it was realized that after tax pay would actually decrease if nothing was done. This is because of the recent elimination of a tax break for a third of the “salary” which was classified as expenses. But then the start of work was delayed because there was concern that there were no women on the committee. This was resolved when Dylis Robertson was named as an additional member.
The plan is to have three more meetings with the last one on April 26 so that new candidates for October’s election will know what they would get paid. The first date to file as a Candidate is May 1st, 2018 and the last day is July 27, 2018 (more on the election here).
In making a decision, committee members were asked to consider:
- Scope of Position/Responsibility of elected office;
- Base Number of Hours required for Council Members as gathered from a Cobourg Municipal Council Survey;
- Review Comparable municipalities;
- Impact of 1/3 tax-free allowance;
- Town-paid group Insurance and benefits;
- Technology/ways of conducting business.
In their first meeting, committee members got complete information about current remuneration and details of many comparable municipalities. See links below for full details but here are some highlights:
- Councillors (including the Mayor and Deputy Mayor) get full benefits as are paid to non-union employees – this includes extended health, dental and life insurance but excludes the OMERS pension. The value/cost is $5,700 per year.
- Salaries in 2017 were
- Mayor $34,720
- Deputy Mayor $21,851
- Councillor $17,528
- Some expenses were reimbursed – the total for all councillors in 2017 was $35,775
- Police Board Members receive 28.5% of the compensation for councillors
- Police Board Chair receives 1.25 times the rate for Police Services Board Members;
- Port Hope salaries in 2017 were
- Mayor $48,400 – gets full benefits
- Deputy mayor $26,000 – must pay 1/3rd of cost of benefits
- Councillors $20,000 – must pay 1/3rd of cost of benefits
- Cramahe salaries in 2017 were:
- Mayor $52,295 – no benefits
- Deputy Mayor $33,274 – no benefits
- Councillors $28,505 – no benefits
- There is a reduction of $250 per meeting for absence from Regular Council and Committee of the Whole meetings in excess of five meetings per year.
On 8 Feb 2018, York Bell-Smith interviewed John Henderson on Cogeco’s Municipal Matters:
It seems that Councillors are probably underpaid and John’s process seems a fair way to resolve it.
- Councillor Séguin asking for Citizen Involvement – 7 Feb 2018 – includes names of citizen committee members
- Motion to Review Council Pay – 14 January 2018
- Review of Council Remuneration
- Table showing remuneration at comparable municipalities
- Presentation by Municipal Clerk and HR Officer
- Council Remuneration Tabled – 4 May 2018 – all forms of payment for 2015