When the subject of Council Salaries came up at Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting, Councillors were initially not in agreement. Deputy Mayor Suzanne Séguin made a motion that seemed to end discussion but was controversial. The motion (see link below) would mean that all councillors would get a $2000 increase in the next term of Council BUT the extra amounts ($6.8K) paid to the Mayor and Councillor Burchat for their participation on the Police Board would be stopped since there is no other payment for participation on Advisory Committees. The net budget impact would be zero. But other Councillors were not happy with this idea; the previous idea of an ad hoc committee was not favoured; instead the CAO confirmed that a compensation specialist could be hired (for less than $5000) to make recommendations.
A previous Cobourg News blog post explained how the subject was on the agenda because staff were asking for direction.
During the debate, Councillor Brian Darling said that Councillors should not be on Council for the money but instead contributing to the community.
After discussion, it was clear that most councillors supported the idea of a recommendation by an independent person with expertise in the area. But Brian asked: if the report from the specialist recommended lower salaries, would Councillors reduce them? There was no answer to this.
One highlight was when Councillor Nicole Beatty spoke passionately about how she was NOT in it for the money. Her concern was the community and equity. Money should not be the reason why people could not be on Council.
In the end Nicole moved the following:
THAT Council receive the Staff Report for information purposes; and
AND FURTHER THAT Council direct staff to conduct a formal review of Council remuneration for the 2022-2026 Term;
AND FURTHER THAT the formal review of Council remuneration include the engagement of a compensation specialist to be funded through the Tax Stabilization Reserve Fund and the 2022 Council (Mayors) Operating Budget to a maximum of $5,000;
AND FURTHER THAT the recommendations for Council remuneration be presented back to Committee of the Whole on June 20th, 2022.
This motion passed 5-2 with Suzanne Séguin and Brian Darling voting against.
Previous News Blog items
- Councillor Salaries back on the Agenda – 28 February 2022.
- Full text of Motion by Suzanne Séguin – not passed
- Report of Council Compensation in 2021 – pdf – author Ian Davey