July 30, 2014

Council compensation info meeting Aug. 25

As published in The Erin Advocate

A new system of compensation for Town councillors will be discussed at a special council meeting on August 25 at 7 pm.

Instead of a base salary plus extra amounts for meetings or official functions, there is a proposal for an inclusive annual salary. As of 2015 (after the October election) the base pay would be $26,000 for the mayor and $15,600 for councillors. The mayor would get a $500 increase every year, and the councillors $300.

The pay would be about the same as they get now said Chief Administrative Officer Kathryn Ironmonger, who consulted with a committee of three residents and compared Erin with other municipalities during preparation of the proposal.

Based on a summary provided earlier this year, 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.

Members would continue to get one-third of their pay tax-free, as an allowance for expenses incidental to the discharge of their elected roles. Also continuing would be coverage of expenses for a limited number of specified conferences or conventions, mileage and reimbursement of approved expenses for business outside the Town, a package of insurance benefits, three weeks of paid vacation and two weeks of sick leave.

Because their meeting work would be covered by salary, it will add to their benefits under OMERS, the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System.

Members would have to apply to council in advance for “per diem” compensation of $150 for a full day or $75 for a half day, under exceptional circumstances to attend a function not covered by the policy. They may also be compensated up to $50 per month for internet service necessary to the job.

A member’s pay would be reduced by $150 per meeting after they have missed three duly called meetings in a calendar year.

More information can be found in the July 22 agenda at www.erin.ca. A final decision is expected in September.