Surprise Council Reversal re Salary increase

At last week’s Committee of the Whole, Council voted to schedule an increase in their salaries on Jan 1, 2020 subject to budget deliberations this fall. The vote was 6-1 in favour but at the full Council meeting when the motion would normally be routinely confirmed, Councillors opened the motion for debate. Suzanne Séguin changed the motion in the Agenda to include a review of Police Board compensation and also other groups such as Holdco and GRCA boards.  Brian Darling then asked that a full review should also be done for Councillors.  Treasurer Ian Davey advised that Council had no control over the compensation of “other” boards so the amendment was then rejected.  Susanne said that in any event, increases might get rejected when the 2020 budget was reviewed in the Fall.  She said that she wanted to be fair to the Police board members.

In the end, a motion to increase salaries as described in the table below was put to a vote although it included a requirement to review Police Board compensation.

  Salary Prior to 2018 Current Salary Proposed Salary
Mayor $34,720 $40,440 $48,100
Deputy Mayor $21,851 $27,679 $38,480
Councillors $17,528 $23,120 $33,670

Brian Darling called for a recorded vote which was as follows – in the sequence that the vote was taken. Red indicates a vote changed since COW meeting:

  COW vote (not recorded) Final Vote
Nicole Beatty Yes No
Aaron Burchat Yes No
Adam Bureau Yes Yes
Emily Chorley Yes Yes
John Henderson Yes No
Susanne Seguin Yes Yes
Brian Darling No No

So the vote was 4 – 3 against.  So there will be no raise in January 2020 and salaries will remain as shown under “Current Salary”.  The only debate was the one described above; no councillor expressed any reason to change their vote although Brian Darling was consistently against. The salaries will remain per the current salaries in the table above unless another motion is made and passed – which is unlikely.  However, it’s quite possible that in the third year, a review will be made for an increase for the next term of council.  Note that there will still be a CPI adjustment each year.


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22 May 2019 2:49 pm

With all the info provided by Paul Pagnuelo at the COW, they, with little to nil information decided to go with Mayor less 20% for DM and Mayor less 30% for Councilors (instead of the recommended 90% and 80%). Now for no reasons whatsoever they decide to go to ‘0%’ until whenever. Don’t get it, maybe the entire step backward is due to the attempt to map Councilor salaries to Holdco, GRCA and Police. Very strange.

Reply to  gerinator
22 May 2019 8:02 pm

Check out my first comment on this thread. Chuck Barris and company would be proud. Who’s next… Ben, as the unknown comic?
Strangest thing to me is… the CTA driving this big increase. They are usually the guys nickle and dimming everything to death and here they are trying throw around my/our hard earned taxpayers dollars like monopoly money.

22 May 2019 12:21 pm

So with all this openness and transparency going around, the Mayor gave no reasons for his flipflop?

22 May 2019 8:50 am

Practical politics mandates that no sitting politician would ever raise their own salaries during the life of a council term however some courageous counselors speak out for the obvious. It is such a pity that the person who proposed this review sits on a big fat omers pension probably collecting maximum CPP pension as well as the OAS and does not want to pay the other members of council a proper salary and who were probably not as affluent as he is as and need the money for the time devoted to the job.

Reply to  ben
22 May 2019 9:00 am

Ben, you had me with what should have been your first sentence.
After that, you just sound mean, envious, assuming and insulting.

Reply to  Frenchy
23 May 2019 6:42 pm

Frenchy, I think Ben is correct. If I were mayor and making all that money from all those pensions, I would turn my ‘Town of Cobourg salary cheque’ over to a worth while charity, each and every week!
Sitting on council should be for the betterment of Cobourg and all it’s citizens, not for the almighty dollar! Shame on those that tried to vote themselves more money!
It’s no wonder so many people can’t be bothered to get out and vote? Another good reason!

Reply to  Ken
26 May 2019 12:32 am

Ken, I think Ben was talking about someone other than the mayor in his rant. I’m not so sure about turning all the money over, but I’m with you on the rest of your sentiment.

Reply to  Ken
26 May 2019 7:28 am

Actually the Mayor makes more on his pensions than the proposer and in addition has three or four other sources of income from municipal sources. Perhaps if we are debating minimum salaries perhaps we should also debate maximum rates before some of it is clawed back. Just like the OAS. But to be fair I remember a former Mayor who was receiving a large Army pension telling me that his meagre (by todays standards) Mayoral salary was affecting his CPP.

Deborah OConnor
Reply to  ben
22 May 2019 5:48 pm

Good call Ben, I agree. I’ve seen this before and it indicates a failure to look objectively at the whole picture, not just one’s personal circumstances. Being on Town Council is an important job and Councillors deserve appropriate compensation. Have we not settled that after years of discussion? Remember, if you pay peanuts you only get monkeys.

Reply to  Deborah OConnor
22 May 2019 7:17 pm

hey Deborah OConnor, how has worked at the provincial and federal levels?
They get paid big time compensation, yet there seems to be a lot of monkeys there. Or are you now a believer than Doug Ford and company are all smart guys? Or how about our PM and his cadre of geniuses?

Reply to  Frenchy
23 May 2019 2:00 am

Doug Ford and company all don’t need the money. It could pay 0 dollars and they could still hold the positions and be fine, so the point doesn’t actually wash. The ‘big time compensation’ is what lets people run -against- the politicians you don’t like who otherwise wouldn’t be able to do it.

21 May 2019 10:33 pm

Gong show.