Surprise Approval of Larger Council Salary Increase

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.

Debra McCarthy
Debra McCarthy

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.

  Now Committee
Mayor $34,720 $37,940 $40,440
Deputy Mayor $21,851 $22,679 $27,679
Councillor $17,528 $18,128 $23,128

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.


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24 May 2018 7:31 am

Disappointing news that councillors have voted to significantly increase their “salaries”. Serving on Council was always considered a civic duty and service to the community. While an honorarium is acceptable, a salary is not. There is a full complement of paid staff to run the Town. If councillors and potential councillors are interested in a salaried position they should consider applying for one of these staff positions. Increasing councillors’ “salaries” increases property taxes which some residents on fixed incomes already struggle to pay, and landlords will increase rents to cover higher taxes. Council often discusses the problem of “affordable accommodation”. This now seems somewhat hypocritical.

23 May 2018 4:09 pm

The logic behind increasing the Council’s salaries is the hope that it will attract more – let’s just say it out – intelligent people who will make better decisions for the people of this town, so I really don’t see the point of offering a raise to the councillors who are already there. It may encourage them to stay on.

23 May 2018 1:22 pm

Well done Paul P. For some ‘interests’ some Councilors are listening. Now if they only could ………

23 May 2018 9:45 am

Very happy to hear this and kudos to Debra McCarthy for suggesting it. There is no question Councilors assume this role with no expectation of gain but for a love of civic engagement. This added remuneration will help offset the day-to-day expenses of their job significantly!

Fact Checker
Reply to  Dragonfly
23 May 2018 12:36 pm

Indeed! Congrats to Debra McCarthy for finding a way to implement the CTA’s recommendation, even if only partially. Points also to her for having the courage to step up and show some leadership while the rest of Council sat on their hands.
Day to day expenses???? How exactly is the mayor incurring $40K in day to day expenses?
This is salary for a job…underpaid as it is. In addition, they get benefits, a laptop and a cell phone. Out of pocket expenses for travel etc are reimbursed by the Town. As the CTA presentation noted, they should also get office space at Vic Hall at the Town’s expense.

Reply to  Dragonfly
23 May 2018 4:13 pm

“…no expectation of gain but for a love of civic engagement.”
When somebody tells me it’s not about money, I put my hand over my wallet.

Walter L. Luedtke
23 May 2018 8:29 am

Still way too timid!
Pay municipal politicians for full-time work and stress.
All politicians should have to make their start in municipal politics, the level of government that is closest to real people.

Reply to  Walter L. Luedtke
23 May 2018 3:59 pm

What stress? The people suffering from stress are the people of this town who’ve had to deal with the after-effects of every thoughtless vote this Council has cast. And you can rest assured that the members of this illustrious Council of halfwits will not be moving on to provincial or federal politics.

Reply to  Walter L. Luedtke
23 May 2018 6:36 pm

Does this mean you are agreeing with the CTA and their proposal?

Walter L. Luedtke
Reply to  Frenchy
24 May 2018 8:55 am

Yes, finally something positive from the CTA.

23 May 2018 7:41 am

Police Services Board gets an automatic raise for what? Monthly rubber stamping and going to conferences.

Reply to  Kyle
23 May 2018 11:42 am

The Police Service Board compensation has been defined as a fixed percentage of a Councillor’s remuneration for many years. This unwarranted increase was noted in the CTA’s presentation and, hopefully, it will be corrected by the next Council.