Quesnel City Council is making some sweeping changes to how the Mayor and Councillors are compensated.
Reacting to the Federal Government’s decision to take away the tax exemption from one third of their remuneration, Council is increasing the Mayor’s pay by 12.4 percent and Councillor’s by 10.5 percent.
In addition to that, the Mayor’s pay will go up by another five thousand dollars and Councillors will get an additional $1,750 to reflect the increased workload of Council.
Mayor Bob Simpson…
“We’re now the child of a lot of downloading. We’re going to be establishing a new housing committee, we have a committee that is looking at people with addictions, we’re now having to pick up the slack on fire smarting and the future of the forest sector, we have an agricultural committee on the go, we’re having to pick up work that didn’t exist before, and this hasn’t been reset for a long time to reflect that workload.”
The base remuneration for the Mayor will go up to $56,294 annually, up from around $44,300, and Councillors will now get $19,054, which is up from $15,200.
The net change to the budget will be $58,775.34.
Another change was to compensate the Acting Mayor and those who chair committees.
Mayor Bob Simpson said it better reflects the work that individuals do…
“One of the struggles that I’ve had is every Council member gets the same rate but some Council members work a lot harder, because they say yes to a committee chair position, they say yes to an initiative, they say yes to community engagement processes, and as a consequence we don’t have the ability to differentially compensate Council members for an increased workload. And I would like to see Council have a bigger presence, so if we are going to remunerate Acting Mayor at a higher level then I would automatically say then, yes they are going to chair every month a Joint Committee meeting.”
The Acting Mayor will now get 200 dollars a month and Council members will also get 100 dollars for chairing a standing committee and 50 dollars a month for chairing a select committee.
The vote was 6-1 in favour with only Councillor Ron Paull opposed.
While he had no problem with the increases to offset the tax change, Paull was not in favour of the other increases, the $5,000 for the Mayor and the 17-hundred and fifty dollars for the Councillors.
He said he also can’t support what he called a 200 percent increase for the Acting Mayor and a 100 percent increase for chairing committees.
All of these suggestions were made by the three outgoing Councillors Ed Coleman, Shushil Thapar and John Brisco.
The idea was that they didn’t have a conflict as the changes won’t impact them.