At last week’s Committee of the Whole (CoW) meeting, Councillors voted 4-3 to increase their remuneration and this came up for ratification at tonight’s regular Council meeting. But, surprise, Councillor Adam Bureau changed his mind. Conceding that he might be accused of flip-flopping, Adam said he listened to the people – in particular those demonstrating outside Victoria Hall. The Mayor, Deputy Mayor and each of the Councillors (except for Aaron) spoke about the reasons for their vote but basically, the disagreement was on whether this is the right time for a raise. All agreed that a raise was required. Randy Barber also pointed out that individual councillors did not have to accept the raise – they could for example donate back to the Town. But no one was interested – it seemed to be a political issue.
At the same meeting, the 2023 budget came up for final approval and Mayor Lucas Cleveland said that it was absurd that Councillors were concerned about the small amount required for salary increases when they added multiple much larger items like the Pickle Ball courts and the Skateboard park. Lucas said that he campaigned on keeping the tax low but was out-voted 30 times. He wanted to limit the levy increase to 5%. The $28,154,601 operating budget represents a 8.1% increase over the 2022 Operating Budget and a 6.6% net increase after allowing for New Assessment Growth of 1.5%. Lucas voted against approving the budget but it was approved 6-1.
Summary of Councillor Comments on Increase in Remuneration
Adam Bureau – he listened to the people and decided that this was the wrong time. Citizens are against it.
Miriam Mutton – people she spoke to were supportive of a correction. She said those opposed were not familiar with the facts.
Randy Barber – we need to right a wrong.
Aaron Burchat – no comment
Deputy Mayor Nicole Beatty – although she voted for an increase in the previous council, now was not the right time. It should be in year 2 or 3.
Mayor Lucas Cleveland – there’s never a wrong time to do the right thing.
The final recorded vote was 4-3 against – Lucas, Randy and Miriam voted in favour of the raise.
The meeting also covered some other contentious items – stay tuned for reports on these in the next few days.
- Councillor Salaries back on Agenda – 28 Feb 2022 – includes record of vote from 2019 and 2020
- Council agrees on compensation – 21 June 2022
It is inappropriate and unprofessional to publicly chastise another co-worker as did Bureau to the Mayor, which puts Bureau in the same category as the person who he chastised as “not being a team player.” I am happy that I did not vote for Bureau (or Beatty).
If the argument is going to be “it’s a full time job so we need full time pay” there should also be term limits instituted or the next thing will be a demand for benefits and a pension. It’s a small town that is mostly run by town staff – as proved again this week by council passing off the CIP grants.
It looks like if you need Council and Mayor to agree to your suggestion then get about 20 people to protest in front of Victoria Hall and one of the Councillors will not only support you but vote for or against what you looking for and he will run over at the end of the meeting and shake your hand and you will go happy and plan for the next protest …… that is how it happens with Cobourg Council …..
Yes, 20 protesters out of 20,000 residents advances ridiculous ideas such as “tiny homes” or a 14+% spending increase. On the other hand, 35 adversely affected home owners are ignored.
Please explain in some detail. Your comments are very difficult to understand.
Doug, I am sorry if it was confusing; I’ll try again.
Two dozen protestors at Victoria Hall appear to have influenced several Council decisions including flip-flops on the remuneration question.
Thirty-six homeowners who live near the proposed shantytown submitted a petition to Council. The petition was “accepted for information purposes” which is Council’s usual way of saying “thanks for your comments but we are not interested”.
Is that easier to understand?
my two cents worth: https://burdreport.ca/blog/2023/02/28/digging-a-bigger-hole/
Ben, you have some interesting comments in your blog:
How do you suggest that Cleveland or any Mayor “control those dudes”? Councillors are independent actors and we elected Councillors who have radically different ideas about taxes. Some feel that our tax dollars should go to special interests such as the lawn bowling club or skateboarders. Others feel that we should spend on welfare programs such as an almost free bus service or affordable housing or… Some favour tree planting. Another Councillor has publicly stated the absurdity that debentures do not increase our taxes.
Sadly none other than Cleveland appear particularly concerned about the recently approved 14+% increase in taxes and fees to be collected this year. What should Lucas do?
It’s not about control it’s about working together and finding common ground trying to control is what gets him in trouble this a democracy not an autocracy. If he had done that in the beginning he probably wouldn’t be in this position.
“How do you suggest that Cleveland or any Mayor “control those dudes”?”
Perhaps control is a strong way of saying “I am going to exercise my leadership capabilities and lead this team and control the agenda” – even if it is not his agenda.
After all people believed that he could; it was the major plank of his campaign.
PS I would be the last person to suggest what Lucas should do, but I have some thoughts which may or may not appear later.
Ben how can you criticize Lucas for voting for restraint? It was those other dudes who raised taxes. He has led by example. How many times have we seen in history where one brave person has stood up and taken a stand? It takes guts to do it. There is no way he can control Council. The law is he has one vote.
Flora read carefully and you will find that I don’t criticise Mayor Cleveland for voting for restraint but point out the political danger he is in by having the majority of Council disagree with his stance on restraint.
As you very well point out there is no way he can control Council but with his well explained, by him, leadership skills he now has to lead a Council that obviously disagrees with him on the budget. How he succeeds in the rest of his political agenda remains to be seen.
I have found this Blog offers many opportunities to increase ones knowledge of Town Council. I had posed a question to Ken Strauss but my reply ended up at the bottom of the page. I would be interested in knowing after further reading of by-law 037-2018 which reflected the then raise was not passed and the assertion under the Information Report – 2022 Municipal Report of Town Council with Resolutions that confirm the term for any change to Council Salary remains at the 3rd year. the 3rd year requirement is to provide changes to renumeration for the following council, not the present one. I am curious why you inserted this without further elaboration for those of us less familar. It would not seem appropriate for a sitting Council to vote themselves such a large increase effective this term it has always been the prior Councils perogative not the sitting Council for the following term.
That is why it was voted down.
Breaking News – Cobourg Council – Council Raise Cancelled at the Last Minute – Today’s Northumberland – Your Source For What’s Happening Locally and Beyond (todaysnorthumberland.ca)
Check his Website, Frenchy. I believe there is mention of some company with which I am unfamiliar; otherwise, just generalities.
Bill, Weatherford is an oil field services company with a market cap of about $5B and quarterly revenue of over $1.2B.
Thanks, Ken! I’ll check it out.
Bill, see https://www.signalhire.com/companies/weatherford/employees?page=59
link doesn’t work for me. captcha just keeps refreshing
The link works OK for me. Easily able to find Lucas’ info
His name is listed on the website. Occupation was a Directional Driller. Seems to me that our mayor worked on an oil rig. Roughneck?
Here is a piece done from Watershed Northumberland Magazine
Partners in business and in life, Lucas Cleveland and Montana Desjardins met in Montreal while working in the restaurant business during their twenties. After moving to Alberta and “working the rigs”, they took off for a year to travel around the world, to refine their values and to experience food markets, restaurants, and flavours from new perspectives.
Doesn’t explain just says “working the rigs”, could mean anything. Directional Driller?
I believe he was a directional driller. Important role similar to that of a foreman of a small crew. Hardly in charge of a multi million dollar corporation.
Ken the Weatherford listing is updated 2019, did he have two jobs for three years? Lucas says he came to Cobourg in 2016
I have no idea when/if the Weatherford listed was updated nor its accuracy. Weren’t Lucas and Montana running their beach canteen prior to 2019?
Yeah, just generalities.
I would rather check someone else’s website to get a objective view about our mayor’s business background and grandiose claims.
If I had a website it could say that I’m a handsome billionaire, would you believe it?
I just read the news article on Northumberland News regarding the protest in front of Victoria Hall about the proposed salary increase for counsellors. It is interesting to note the Mayor’s reaction when engaging with the protesters. He said that he wasn’t motivated by money when he ran for office and implied he could resume a career in the oil and gas industry where he was engaged in multi-million dollar projects. Really! Not sure how majors in political science and philosophy would qualify one to have a substantive role in that area. Perhaps the mayor may wish to revisit his website and provide more details of his past accomplishments. Just a thought!
On another point! What were you trying to accomplish, Mr. Mayor, when you voted 30 times opposed to passing budget items that were approved by the majority of counsellors? Were you trying to impress the electorate? A guardian of the public purse! Unfortunately, your antics, so far, have had the opposite effect with many of us. There appears to be a lack of credibility and a sense of dysfunction with our municipal government as it stands now.
“He said that he wasn’t motivated by money when he ran for office and implied he could resume a career in the oil and gas industry where he was engaged in multi-million dollar projects.”
Is there any way to fact check these boasts, or do we just take his word for it?
Bryan and Ken S., you guys are pretty good at research, can you help us out?
Okay Frenchy, so your are questioning his resume. That won’t help with the main problem. We have this Council for four years. Let’ focus on ways of getting Councillors to stop the frivolous spending. This is a twofold problem. One, some residents are asking for money for things that are anything but necessary. And they have to be convinced to stop and or raise money for their pet projects. And Two, enough people have to give Councillors a clear message that taxes are too high. To accomplish these two things will take a lot of work.
We just have to get 20 like-minded people and make noise in front of City Hall. Or, write an emotional letter and read it in front of Council.
“…a career in the oil and gas industry where he was engaged in multi-million dollar projects.“
Isn’t that the industry where Hunter Biden made millions for The Big Guy?
Is it sensible to criticize the one person who voted for restraint? Could you make some suggestions on how to improve things? Or are you one of the people encouraging the spend spend spend Councillors to spend more?
Flora – as raised previously on a prior topic the mayor was all for the considerable out of time raise, hiring an new EA at a cost of $85,000 and said he would be pleased to recommend $100,000 for a consultation on the previously done Strategic Plan for a new study.
As for his down votes to save Cobourg money they involved cuts to services for residents. Placing the tax dollars away from citizen needs to Council expenditure. How therefore are his 30 negative votes for services a great thing?
Every tax dollar is a dollar that residents cannot spend as they choose. Why should you pay for my special interests? Why should I pay for yours?
Which services do you think are worth saving which would benefit the majority of Cobourg residents? How many skateboard, play pickleball or lawn bowl? Or visit the art gallery? I believe citizens should support their own recreation and entertainment.
Flora if you would like to list the 30 citizen services the mayor voted against rather than cherry picking I will be glad to let you know which I am in favour of. Apparently when it comes to himself though he feels spare no expense is his mantra.
Dave, rather than “cherry picking” services of which you approve, maybe we should reduce/ make more efficient/ eliminate some of the biggest ticket items. For a start, consider protection services (police/fire), bus, stormwater, library, CCC, Art Gallery, Venture13, pickleball courts, skateboard park, East Pier repairs, affordable housing handouts, downtown CIP and opioid spending. Which of these? Anything to add to my list for consideration?
Keep going Ken – so far you have selected 9 I approve of. What else are should tax dollars be spent on but citizen services and necessary infrastructure repairs instead of perks for the mayor which in dollar amounts are very costly and have no benefit to anyone but him? But then from your postings you would prefer there be no services here at all. Let them eat cake is it?
You gave me a good laugh with “perks for the mayor which in dollar amounts are very costly“. I assume that you are referring to an EA shared between the Mayor and the CAO for $85K.
Compare that to $1.8M for a bus used by a few hundred. Compare that to $150K for an inferior art gallery that is seldom visited. Compare that to $100K for a portion of a skateboard park (very important for a mostly senior town). Compare that to $1.2M for the CCC. Compare that to…
Most citizen services that are common to all municipalities Ken when they reach the size of Cobourg. You will note I didn’t say I approved of them all, just 9. Previously I listed the mayor’s preferred items he has brought forth so I will not repeat the list but refer you to my other comments Ken. You seem rather annoyed as you keep appearing against all my comments now. I do not agree with sitting Council voting themselves and increase – apparently we disagree and apparently this irks you to the point of dogging me.
Please don’t feel singled out. I tend to “dog” those with whom I disagree and particularly those who repeatedly espouse the same erroneous and/or unsubstantiated justifications.
For example, you mentioned the “services that are common to all municipalities when they reach the size of Cobourg“. Few towns our size provide public transit.
You said that you disagree with only 9 of my suggested places to reduce spending. Where do we agree?
I’m not going to type out a couple of dozen items. I gave a few examples. Comment on those if you wish. Also the mayor withdrew his request for an EA. That is an example of working with Council.
I don’t see much chance of a consensus if six others are against restraint. So now that we have this situation and if we are serious about keeping taxes down we need more than criticism to make progress. Surely some person out of the 20,000 residents can come up a workable plan. Let’s try.
I’m all for restraint, Flora. I believe that the mayor was putting on a show by taking a contrary position on many items in the budget. He was the one who wanted an immediate salary increase plus the additional hire of an assistant for his office. Our town needs to focus on necessary services (stick to the basics) and withhold funding for
I meant to add: withhold funding for non-necessities. We have too many studies and additional hires. I question the value of Venture 13. These are just a couple of examples, among many, where savings can occur.
Agreed, Bill. Insofar as has been reported V13 has made no contribution to Cobourg’s economy but has cost the taxpayers over $1M.
What is the current pay for the Port Hope Mayor & Council. Have trouble finding that info. Thanks
KAJ, Base salaries starting December 1st, 2023 will be raised by 27% to $30,000 for councillors, and by 18% to $36,000 for the deputy mayor and $68,800 for the mayor.
The problem with politics is that anyone can seek office and be, potentially, elected regardless of whether or not they have the ability or employment background to enable them to carry out their civic duties effectively. I doubt that anyone with a good career would seek to run for office in Cobourg even if Council remuneration were doubled. Suggesting that increasing pay considerably will attract well qualified candidates is a fallacy; therefore, it appears to me that likely candidates will be retirees or those who really need the money. I find the comments, regarding compensation, made by counsellors Mutton, Barber, and Cleveland laughable and insulting. You knew what the pay was! Why did you bother to run? I suggest that you fall into one of those categories that I mentioned. By all means raise council salaries, but do it within an appropriate framework and with some dignity.
In regards to the budget, things are getting out of hand. Tough decisions need to be made and we need people on counsel who are capable of making them. It is turning into a circus!
It seems to me that, when tough decisions are about to be made, folk start whining . ” Don’t close the pool”! Ok, keep it open but it’s gonna cost ya!
Has anyone else noted the established pact between Bureau and Beatty?!
You mean similar to Mutton, Barber and Cleveland?
Did you notice that Mutton & Barber also voted with Bureau and Beatty (Darling & Burchat also).
The word “similar” is appropriate. Theirs is a typical and inconsistent agreement.
Most comments are negative as usual …… for those that have another income or pension I guess you don’t need a raise ….. if you consider the time most on Council or Mayor spends on our behalf it is less than minimum salary …… maybe they should be paid by the hour and keep a time sheet like the town staff ….. give the mayor and newbies a chance ….. for those complaining next time run for Council or Mayor ….. with the tax increase this will set a new plateau and if inflation drops from current level to a lower rate will we get a rebate ….. wonder what the average salary of Cobourg Town folks is ..
“wonder what the average salary of Cobourg Town folks is”
Thanks for providing ….. does this include Management, Police and Fire Dept ?
Give me a break,
I believe that the $57K amount Frenchy provided is the average for residents of Cobourg. Your question seems to be about the average of Town staff.
Perhaps Frenchy has this. If not, I will try and look it up
Nope, I just sent a link to what Ken posted below.
Frenchy, I posted median rather than average household income. That is, half of Cobourg’s families make less than $57,331 and half make more. The average Cobourg household income was $81,200 in 2020. The high income for some (mostly government employees?) raises the average. In 2020 there were 2,415 Cobourg households with over $100,000 in after tax income. The low income for our many retirees and those working a minimum wage jobs lowers the median.
Must have a lot of government paid employees then in this town if the average is only $57K. Seniors also have nest eggs which have been accumulated over a lifetime or recently in home sales not counted as income, usually invested – capital gains, interest are the only calcs in for income. The rest sits richly by to supplement income until dealth.
As Frenchy notes, Ken’s $57K number is the Cobourg average income.
A rough calculation of the Town staff average income is $77K-$81K. This is based on data in the Town’s 2021 FIR (financial information report). I’ve made assumptions about the amount of benefits (30%) and the number of part time and seasonal that equal one full time.
The relatively high average income shouldn’t be a surprise, given the number of Town staff making over $100K (cops, fire, senior staff)
I absolutely agree — Council and Mayor do need to keep timesheets. Even at minimum wage of $15.50/hour, at his current salary of $45,412 Lucas would need to limit his work week to 56 hours/week (actually less hours than that because he should be getting time and a half after 40 hours!), the Deputy Mayor (at $31,082) to 38 hours/week, and the councillors (at $25,963) to 32 hours/week.
Forget Lucas’ 180 emails answered in a day — he should only answer about “10” and only answer the ones that are TRULY important! Forget attending business openings and all the political goodwill, hand-shaking stuff …
Let STAFF handle the day to day activities.
Keep Council meetings to a pre-approved time limit of 1-2 hours- AND eliminate the need for councillors to read and digest 300+ page “reports” in advance of council meetings (i.e. town staff should be doing this and summarizing for Council).
Make council positions TRULY part-time – let the highly paid municipal unionized staff truly EARN their salaries and don’t keep uploading their work to Councillors. If councillors are getting paid for part-time jobs, make their jobs TRULY part-time. They deserve much more than minimum wage.
The Council has made a mistake ….. pay increases are in order !
RUSS – There is a by-law governing the time period when an increase to Council is to be placed. I don’t doubt an increase is in order however revenue/expenditures should also be reviewed – a whole review of budget prior to a dollar amount to be established. The by-law states clearly now is not the time. Besides on a faith basis it feels duplicit to just have them assume office and bang they vote themselves a raise. Akin to betting on a racehorse in their maiden race. The outcome is unknown. It is important to follow the ground rules laid out in case they should become twisted in other matters allowing heaven knows what.
Seems very clear from numerous comments that quite a number of small-minded people inhabit small towns.
Resentful and fearful of change, scornful of those with unfamiliar ideas, focused on petty concerns, lacking vision of a different future, and stingy with regard to rewarding those willing to take up responsibility for local governance. You won’t see these naysayers steppng up to do the jobs.
Agree ….. not likely to change …… thinking out of the box is not possible here
Fearful of change? Lacking vision of different future? What a silly thing to say. You are aware a large portion of Cobourg now are people who have moved here within the last ten years. The actual embodiment of change and different future. Council deserve better pay. However there are Bylaws in place for a reason. You don’t demand a pay increase moments after accepting a job. We need results, not excuses of how this is not for them but women and minorities. What absolute tripe. It’s optics right now and the optics are wrong. They will get an increase in time.
History proves you wrong. Past (20 years or so) attempts to get compensation increased in years 2, 3 or 4 have all failed. Only token increases were approved. Significant change has to occur in year 1
Council did not “demand” a pay increase. They have the authority to propose and approve it on their own. Majority agreement is needed and that didn’t happen.
I understand the process and how council can grant their own increase. A new mayor with zero experience should not be in the position to appoint this hence the bylaw. Cobourg is changing and will continue to change, a balance of respecting the past while opening up to the future needs to be in place. Change needs to happen along with a pay increase such as accountability of hours for council. If you have a full time job as well as being on council how can you put 100% into the position. Maybe it should be a full time position with full time hours. A position where having another job would not be possible. I could not do the job of being on council while being employed. It would be a side job to my career. Change has to happen if we want a good return on investment.
This is not about pay for performance. If that standard was in place, the number of Town staff would be somewhat smaller.
Many of the big expenses the Town is facing now and for the near future are due to past staff and Councils not attending to necessary infrastructure repairs and replacement, letting things deteriorate until at a near crisis level.
Council compensation is the same. Years of useless compensation studies and token increases. Enough bandages. Fix the problem.
Lots of talk about $110K for the council compensation increase. Not a word about downsizing (eliminating) non-performing departments (eg V13 $200K+), reducing services and increasing fees.
Wasn’t the User Fee consultant to have reported by budget time? Where’s the consultant’s plan that staff promised would generate $100K+ in new/increased revenue?
Yes Mr. Davey was supposed to have that report commissioned and done a year ago but anything he has to report on is always late. Whether it is this or a simple quarterly report.
I agree it needs to change. However it should not change without reconstruction of the position. I have worked in government for about 15 yrs. Ten of which for a large municipality the last three for a smaller one. I understand the problems within municipalities. I also know that council members who also have full time jobs don’t always attend important meetings as they can’t due to their jobs. It should be about performance and they should be rewarded as such. It’s too easy to dial things in as the model currently stands. Better pay requires better results.
Agree that better pay requires better results. However, you need to have capable people first.
Further, Cobourg isn’t a “results” Town. There are no KPIs and no performance evaluations, so how can you expect results.
The budget is not used as a management tool for performance measurement. Its sole purpose is to provide the tax levy.
I understand the “small” town argument to a degree. However Cobourg is a $60M corporation. It’s not small. There are lots of $10M private sector corporations that have considerably more sophisticated management than Cobourg .
That is so freaking scary…no performance measures for paid staff? No wonder we’re in a financial mess. There’s no incentive to do a good job.
“Many of the big expenses the Town is facing now and for the near future are due to past staff and Councils not attending to necessary infrastructure repairs and replacement, letting things deteriorate until at a near crisis level.”
Could these two have been a part of that past Council?
“We had a DM and a Councillor who took “fiscal prudence” seriously.”
Possibly. but they are only 2 votes. The 4 re-elected councilors also contributed. Several past Councils have had a hand in this over the past 20 or so years
They were your people.
My people? What are you claiming?
Not yours personally as in “Bryan’s” people but councilors backed financially and resource-wise by the CTA.
But still, Possibly??? 😉 C’mon.
Frenchy, the CTA has never backed any Councillor financially. We are willing to offer advice to any Councillor or resident for that matter. Sadly most Councillors don’t want our advice!
Never contributed to a councillor’s election campaign under the CTA brand or personally?
Not one by the CTA. The CTA has never run a slate or supported any candidate or group of candidates.
Personally, yes according to the members’ personal choice. The same choice you and every resident have in supporting your candidates.
Well, if there isn’t a law prohibiting it, maybe the CTA should back candidates. Then we might have had a more balanced and financially saavy Council. (Like Michael Sprayson)
Yes Frenchy, possibly.
On any given issue the DM and a Councillor voted according to their evaluation of the issue. Sometimes they agreed, Sometimes not. Similarly, sometimes I agreed. Sometimes not.
Dam_213, what Bylaws are you talking about?
Bylaw, council cannot increase wages until the third year of their term.
But Dam_213 you wrote “However there are Bylaws in place for a reason.” There is no such Bylaw in place so what are you talking about?
I think you need to check the bylaws. There is one and it is there for this very reason. The mayor himself when asked about it replied with “we change bylaws all the time”. Typically when it suits them I might add.
Huh?? Are you being cute Mr Strauss. You know exactly what Dan_213 is referring too. This has been discussed several times over the past month.
In my opinion I have lost confidence in what any member of the CTA says given the hard press you and Bryan (proposed remuneration increase in closing minutes – planned?) have made in support of the remuneration increase for the Mayor and Counsel.
Rationale, paying our Councillors more than minimum wage has been the topic of CTA delegations for many years. Why do you feel that paying more than minimum wage is unreasonable.
Back to my earlier question: What is the number of the Bylaw that prevents an increase?
LOL!! You just proved my point. You know exactly. The Council Remuneration By Law – remuneration looked at in third year of term. What a waste of time this is. If it is called by some other name? So what.
Perhaps you are misunderstanding Resolution 205-22 which includes “…and a formal review of Council remuneration takes place in the third year of the next term of Council by a method of Council’s choosing to take effect for the next incoming Council Term”
Insofar as I know there is nothing in that resolution that precludes changes at other times. Do you have contrary information?
The bylaw defining remuneration (most recently Bylaw 037-2018) has been amended many times over the years so that is not an impediment to an increase.
I guess Nicole Beatty misunderstood too Ken – she said reported in the meat of the material provided for Blog discussions that it was not possible to enact a raise as it clearly states in the by-law that this can only be done until the third year as Bryan pointed out previously. Bryan further stated it has always been that and he felt council was afraid to enact it then for fear they would not be re-elected.
Who are you kidding Ken?
In viewing back as you won’t I found Nicole recommended in 2nd or 3rd year – I also have been following in the Northumberland News where she stated this matter is appropriately looked at in year 3 as Bryan has mentioned several times.
Almost every Council session amends or rescinds previously approved bylaws.
To settle the question, please post the text that precludes an early change to remuneration.
I’ll let you look it up Ken – take a look at the last couple of Blogs when this was being discussed you will find it there. It is there but I don’t feel like looking for something for you that you missed.
I can recall a change in by-law in Toronto when Kyle Rae decided to give himself a good bye party at the expense of his office budget. The current by-law clearly stated no funds were to be used for private purpose. The by-law was then needlessly strengthened to ensure every round smooth brain that may be sitting understood it. It was very clear as it had been written as I am sure the current by-law is written in Cobourg on Council increases – even Bryan stated this Ken.
Dave, your Kyle Rae story is interesting but irrelevant. You say that there was a bylaw prohibiting the expenditure but you do not mention that the bylaw could not have been amended to allow the expenditure.
Just because you, Ms Beatty or even Bryan says something does not make it true.
Again, please provide a reference to an actual bylaw that proves your point. Otherwise, you are wasting everyone’s time repeating a falsehood.
To quote you then Ken – “Resolution 205-22 which includes “…and a formal review of Council remuneration takes place in the third year of the next term of Council by a method of Council’s choosing to take effect for the next incoming Council Term”
Yes, Dave, I posted that excerpt earlier. Please note the the resolution does not mention that a review occurs only in the third year. Nor does it mention prohibiting an increase at other times.
Northumberland News has an article Ken quoting Brian Darling, by-law governance – will paste it here for you.
“should be a correction in council remuneration in the third year of the term, as per the town bylaw, but said he couldn’t support a pay raise this year.”
Nicole Beatty – “Beatty said while she agrees in principle with a salary correction or fair compensation, she supports the existing bylaw where council raises are reviewed in year three.”
And there you have it.
The DM and a senior councillor not knowing the difference between a by-law and a resolution.
Further, neither seems to understand the meaning of the resolution. It does not prevent Council from doing a compensation review or changing compensation at some other time.
Note the operative work “should”. It is permissive, not mandatory.
Should “denotes a guideline or recommendation whenever noncompliance with the specification is permissible”
On the other hand, shall is “an imperative command, usually indicating that certain actions are mandatory, and not permissive”
Current best practice is to use must in place of shall and may in place of should. These two words provide a much clearer communication of the intent.
Attention to the specific words and “tools” (by-law, resolution) is required. They matter.
Please refresh my memory.
What did I state regarding a council compensation increases by-law?
Sorry Bryan – got a phone call – you had said traditionally renumeration is not reviewed until the 3rd year from which if that is always the case the reason as to why would be governed. then Ken – who has better access to the by-laws quoted from by-law 205-22 which states “a formal review of Council remuneration takes place in the third year of the next term of Council by a method of Council’s choosing to take effect for the next incoming Council Term” which seems clear and easy to understand Bryan.
Simple to understand? Perhaps not so much.
You indicate that I said……traditional remuneration….. but you did not quote what I said. I find your paraphrasing confusing.
As Ken noted 205-22 is a resolution, not a by-law. It is a lower level of approval/authority.
As ken also points out, there is nothing in the resolution preventing Council from making compensation changes at some other time.
Some definitions may help.
A by-law is a form of legislation established by local government to resolve issues and address the needs of citizens.
A resolution is a record of decisions or wishes of council, and includes routine administrative and management matters such as appointing an auditor
Please see above answer to Ken Strauss which I provided after reading the responses from Brian Darling and Nicole Beatty for their reasons for voting against the Council increase, pasted verbatim from the Northumberland News Bryan.
As noted elsewhere, I don’t think your paraphrasing of my comments is accurate.
I don’t think that your paraphrasing of my comments are accurate.
By-law 037-2018 renumeration section was defeated Ken, attached as a link the information report which shows the defeat and when.
Other parts of the document specify when changes to renumeration will be considered. If the link does not work you will find under Information Report – 2022 Town of Cobourg Municipal Council. It also states verbatim “FURTHER THAT a formal review of Council remuneration takes place in the third year of every Council’s term of office by a method of Council’s choosing;”
Once again, Dave, the resolution does not say that a review can ONLY occur in the third year. Further, why do you think that a bylaw or resolution cannot be amended or rescinded? If you had bothered to read the agenda you will find that the defeated increase in pay is described as “Bylaw 025-2023, a by-law to AMEND by-law 078-2015 and by-law 037-2018″.
This is tiresome. Please, Dave, either provide a valid rationale for your assertion that Council cannot change their remuneration when desired or stop wasting everyone’s time.
In finality Ken for sitting Council to vote themselves a raise would create a conflict of interest as they would be awarding themselves contrary to long standing practice of voting to increase the next Council renumeration of which membership is yet to be established.
In finality Bryan by-law 025-2023 is in the current year that recommends the big raise. Previously the 3rd term of the sitting Council is when renumeration is increased for the FOLLOWING council yet to be elected. Otherwise you have a Conflict of Interest in people that are voting for a benefit for themselves.
On your other argument that we required more money to attract talent I can name other Councils paid very handsomely yet there is a lack of talent on them. The areas they are representing have in the last 8 years become riddled with crime, dirty with litter etc., short on housing and other problems too numerous to mention despite large compensatoy packages.
Dave, are you describing downtown Cobourg?
I think Dave said:
“other Councils paid very handsomely”
“The areas they are representing”
“despite large compensatoy (sic) packages” (rules out Cobourg, right?)
I took it that he wasn‘t describing downtown Cobourg.
Frenchy, I suppose that we should be happy. We get all of the bad things without having to pay our Councillors very much!
With by-laws we all know from where the controlling authority comes.
You wrote “What a waste of time this is. If it is called by some other name? So what.
It makes a big difference. A resolution does not have the approval/authority weight that a by-law does.
Further, “…..remuneration looked at in third year ….” does not preclude Council from making changes at ant other time, as Ken noted.
This is a legal framework where the tools and words used matter.
But Bryan in my opinion it isn’t really germane to the lay person in the context of the discussion here…moreover the critical nature of the comments/replies and demanding of the use of “approved” verbiage give a perception of self importance and really does little to further or add value to the conversation. Whether it is a bylaw or resolution, what people understand is that there is a mechanism for increases to remuneration – the fact is, most people are angry/disappointed in (1) the Mayor’s insistence on pursuing an increase and an Executive Assistant for himself after 100 days into his tenure, (2) his obvious absence of leadership and ability to bring people together and (3) the approach he took while addressing the small group of protesters which would suggest he hasn’t learned anything from his questionable public perception ..(there is a YouTube video available for those interested)
Ken is correct. 205-22 is a resolution, not a by-law.
Further, it doesn’t prohibit Council from making compensation change at some other time.
Rather it be a bylaw or resolution it is there for good reason. The mayor himself referred to it as a bylaw. So clearly there is confusion on the subject. However it is still good practise.
I have read now many past minutes and present minutes going back to the beginning of 2018. Each renumeration change is accompanied by the directive is the issue of increase for the next council will be considered no soon than the 3rd year or perhaps 4th.
You state it doesn’t prohibit Council from making compensation change time change from 3 or 4th year but has not changed as I went several years into past minutes.
In reading the decisions on Council renumeration the minutes state a comparison to similar size town councils is done and this determined the rate to the 50th and 60th percentile of comparable compensation to establish what is to be paid.
You indicate that the 2023 Ops budget is $28,154,601. An 8.1% increase and 6.6% increase after growth. The adds & deletes schedule indicates different amounts: $28,355,919 ($201,318 higher), an increase of 8.84% and 7.73% after growth (AG).
Combined with the 6% storm water user fee (tax), the increase is 14.84% and 13.73% AG
I have asked Ian Davey for clarification and will advise regarding his reply.
Ian has provided clarification. The A&D schedule that I referenced was a Feb 7 “draft” of suggested changes. Some changes were made on Feb 9 and these resulted in a $201K reduction
JD’s article shows the proper amounts and percentages.
The combined increase of the levy (8.1%) and the storm-water fee (tax, 6%) is 14.1%
The “after growth” increase is 12.6% for those who believe this is a meaningful metric.
Welcome to the world of small town Municipal politics Mr. Cleveland…he probably learned a valuable lesson about politicking, one person/one vote, etc…. And voting down the budget equates to taking his ball and going home. I suspect he likely would have voted in favour of it had it included the raise.
It would seem the man who promised he would lead is having a very hard time leading. Maybe some self reflection is required of the mayor. His attitude while dealing with the public is terrible. Smug, condescending and rude. One can only imagine what council is subjected to. Hopefully while taking his ball home he had time to pick up some humble pie on the way.
Wow …. Mayor has only been there for a few months ….. give him a chance and besides he has 3 councilors that have been there for a while that should help out
The fact that he has been there for a few months has nothing to do with how he interacts with residents of this town. Especially when he feels he is not getting his own way. Maybe there is a budget item for customer service training. I’m not sure if you watched him interact with the protest. It was nothing short of disgraceful. He could certainly learn from Adam who listened and was respectful. Big difference.
DAN213, disgraceful? Disgraceful was the ignorance of some of the protester’s comments. Perhaps Adam was respectful because he was among his kindred
He was respectful because as a member of council that is what is expected when engaging with residents. It comes with the position of office. The mayor on the other hand, rather on Facebook or in person has been called out many times for his behaviour when dealing with residents. A training course in customer service would serve him well.
The budget vote was before the remuneration vote. In fact when the remuneration vote was taken, there was a discussion on what happens to the money for extra pay in the budget. The answer was that it will simply be an unspent amount.
Thanks for the clarification John
We have an economical mayor and a six spendthrift Councillors. It is a pleasant surprise to have a mayor who discusses the issues and isn’t afraid of controversy. He is always available to discuss issues. His office door is open. He voted against frivolous additional spending 30 times. On the other hand the spendthrifts who say they are for affordable housing have just made housing and rent 6.6 percent more expensive in Cobourg and that is on top of the 6 percent storm water management increase that affects all properties. And even more next year when we start paying for the items they debentured.
“An economical Mayor”?? Who wanted an assistant at a salary of $85,000.00 a year. Kudoos to the people who protested. Do the work first and lets see the results of the promises made and then see if they actually accomplish anything to warrant an increase in salary.
The mayor was the only one to vote against this budget and all his motions to reduce were voted down. Last night the other six patted themselves on a job well done. Too bad all of us residents can’t share in the “love in’…we will be too busy paying 6.6% more taxes. Why do we vote in the same useless Councillors
The Mayor was taken to task last night as he has been on several other occasions. He hasn’t earned respect. He hasn’t worked hard enough at developing internal relationships (except with Mutton, likely the CAO and maybe Barber). He has not yet established credibility and he hasn’t demonstrated leadership. It feels like he expected these things to happen much faster than they are and probably anticipated less resistance. In my opinion, his early lack of political savvy has diminished his ability to influence outcomes and probably stalled his agenda. This isn’t Ginny and Georgia but he has 3 3/4 years to figure it out…
It’s easy to vote no 30 times when you know the yes’ will carry the day. That way, you look good and can say you voted against those expenses for the next 4 years. We used to have a DM who did that.
We had a DM and a Councillor who took “fiscal prudence” seriously. We also had a DM who became mayor and said yes to everything except providing leadership.
Well now , had that protest not taken place I’m sure the raise would have gone through. Hats off to the people that showed up. Had any one listened to the Mayor on video speaking to the crowd ? Called people FOLKS so many times. He must have spoken to Ford before showing up. Good god we are in for a very long 4 years with this guy. He doesn’t listen at all to anyone. All for himself and always will be. I say vote no confidence in the Mayor. Can we do that? How do we do that ? And I don’t think Adam would be foolish enough to run
The Mayor might not be my favourite person but I certainly didn’t want a “yes” man in there that bends over for every special interest group. this includes the proposed Shanty Town at the arena.
I agree Informed. The mayor has strongly stood up for the “shanty town” offering it consideration. Peterborough Council was faced with the same request for sleeping cabins but voted it down very quickly not like Cobourg where it was referred to the Planning Department. The mayor states it will go through process like any other proposed development and in the end shifted the ball saying the consortium proposing needed to poll citizens of Cobourg for their desires on this proposal.
Folks is not as condescending as calling people “ my friends “ ….. he is not my friend. What would you like him to address the folks.
Maybe just “fellow residents” or “over paying residents”.
What is that often-used phrase? People get the government they deserve. Makes more sense to me the older I get.
Thomas Jefferson had it right.
Congrats Adam for your consideration, and influence, regardless of how ‘minimal’ the results. I’m even more taken aback by Councilor Mutton comments about ‘not familiar with the facts’. Which set of facts might that be? The rest of the budget is a joke. So no this group of Councilors is not off the hook for their complete mis-handling, mis-reading of the room – pickle ball court indeed!
Plus – congrats to those folks that petitioned/demonstrating outside of City Hall. Well done.
I see nothing wrong with funding an activity for people in Cobourg that enriches their lives such as Pickle Ball not that I participate in this. I am glad they have the CCC – never knew of a town or city that did not have a funded community centre, even Trenton has such, a much more hard pressed municipality. It is also more than important though the tax dollars collected go to supporting base services. Updating roads, sewers, assisting economic factors of the region, policing etc. etc. Otherwise we can follow the example of U.S. cities that have cut all this and become desolate, run down places, unsafe to live with little policing. The choice is up to Council and the people ultimately when they cast their vote. People say wait and see what the new mayor will do, so far his suggestions have failed to impress me. Let us hope he redeems himself with wise decisions for Cobourg as it grows and changes. We can always hope.
Google this…”What City has the most Pickleball Courts?” Answer: Seattle WA with 3 courts per 20,000 people. Cobourg already has 2 outdoor courts and the CCC has indoor courts.
I for one will not be contributing to any Pickleball fundraising to enable more needless, wasted spending by Council.
Cobourg has 2 tennis courts doubling as pickleball courts.
News for you Kathleen, Seattle is making a come back. They woke up and realized they needed community activities over their prior decisions.
Seattle has 3 dedicated courts per 20,000. Cobourg has 0.
Concerned, the median family income in Seattle is us$105,391. The median family income in Cobourg is cdn$57,331. Perhaps Seattle residents can afford 3 dedicated courts per 20,000; we cannot!
See https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/seattlecitywashington/EDU685221 for further details.
They must be very well attended and used by the citizens then Ken and the nice thing is they were re-purposed not built from scratch which has saved construction costs. Interests change but it is important to offer people a leisure outlet rather than sitting at home staring out the window or drinking or some other unhealthy activity.
I believe that a long overdue salary correction is necessary.
Sure in accordance with the by-law in year 2 or 3. The other councillors even stated that they support that course of action.
History proves otherwise. Past attempts at significantly increasing council compensation in years 2, 3 or 4 have all failed. Token increases were approved.
Year 1 is the correct time to make the change.
In accordance with what by-law?
There isn’t one.
Darling, Beatty and Bureau (likely Burchat also) all got it wrong.
There is a resolution indicating that Council can, if it chooses (optional, not mandatory) review compensation in year 3. There is no prohibition from making changes at any other time.
While the actual dollar amount for council salary increase this year was minimal I believe Adam Bureau made the right choice, the optics were wrong at this time. Interesting that the 3 who voted for the increase are new councillors and have yet to prove their worth.
The actual dollar amount may have been “minimal” in terms of the overall budget it was still well above increases to other peoples wages percentage wise. That sets a bad precedent when dealing with other employee wage increases / contracts. I think there should be a law that wages for those positions should be set late in the 3rd year of council’s term. That way incumbents can defend the raise during the next election campaign.
Miriam Mutton is not a new councillor, in fact she is among the most experienced on council having served from 2006-2014. That’s a fact.
Randy Barber is also an experienced Councilor, having served 2 terms in Markham.
I’m guessing that most people that voted for this new Mayor wish they would have had the opportunity to vote for Councillor Bureau for Mayor.
What you seem to overlook is that Mr. Bureau thought it was good budget and should be adopted. Really???