At the May 14 Committee of the Whole (C.O.W.) meeting, Council approved the recommendations of the Ad Hoc committee that had been formed for that purpose. At the same meeting, Paul Pagnuelo of the CTA said that councillors were grossly underpaid and should be paid a lot more. In keeping with that, a clause was added to the Council motion that required a review in twelve months. But when the motion came up for the usual rubber stamping at tonight’s Council meeting, Debra McCarthy said that she had second thoughts: Why not approve a quarter of the increase immediately? Specifically she moved an amendment that would increase Councillors’ and the Deputy Mayor’s pay by $5000 and the Mayor’s by $2500 – effective December 3, 2018.
The resulting pay would still be less than minimum wage but would be a start. Debra had previously made it clear that she would not be running again so had nothing personal to gain. The amendment motion was seconded by Forrest Rowden who has now made it official that he also would not be running (see his Press Release below).
The increase is significant and Debra’s proposal also meant that Council would be rejecting the recommendation of the special Ad Hoc Committee.
Once again Debra spoke about how she and presumably other new Councillors were not aware of the large workload. She especially noted the heavy workload of the Deputy Mayor. No other changes were proposed so annual CPI adjustments would still apply and there would still be no compensation for the planned elimination of the tax deduction for one third of their salary.
The requirement for a review in 12 months was also left intact. The Police Board remuneration will also increase since it’s based on a percentage of Councillor’s pay.
The amendment and full motion passed with little discussion so Debra’s proposal will be implemented.