October 23, 2013

Citizen committee to review councillors’ pay

As published in The Erin Advocate

The Town will be setting up a citizen committee to make recommendations on councillors’ pay, but any changes would not take effect until after the October 2014 election.

“The Committee will consist of 6-12 members with representation of the entire community and the members must declare that they are not running for a position on Council in the 2014 municipal election,” said CAO Kathryn Ironmonger in her report.

“The purpose of the Committee is to review Council's remuneration levels based on the responsibility to govern including participation on committees, boards or commissions and on external comparison of similar sized municipalities with a part-time mayor and councillors, each being a standalone community and not part of a larger, metropolitan area.

“The Committee will develop recommendations with respect to the remuneration policy relating to the elected officials’ duties such as attending conferences or travelling on specific municipal business, salary, benefits, mileage, laptops and the continuance of the one-third tax free status of council salary and any other recommendations related to direct compensation.”

Councillors currently earn a base salary of $12,758 per year, but with amounts allowed for additional work averaging $2,600, conference fees of about $3,000, and benefits valued at $6,500, the cost to the Town is just under $25,000 per year.

The mayor earns a base salary of $22,963, and with additional amounts, benefits and conferences, the position costs the Town about $37,700 per year. This does not include income from the mayor’s service on county council.

The terms of reference for the committee is available on the town website, in the October 15 agenda. The document also has the council cost breakdowns, in the ward section on page 93.