Ron Paull presented the offer at last (Tuesday) night’s meeting as part of the discussion on Council remuneration for 2023.
He said that it was “ridiculously high.”
“My effort was mainly to try to bring my pay packet closer to the average that’s shown on this report. I don’t know how many municipalities are listed there, but the average is 41 thousand, so even if my pay packet was reduced by 10,000 I would still be 10,000 above the average.”
The report listed 20 other communities. (a comparison can be found below)
Williams Lake’s Mayor currently makes $50,887.
Councillor Scott Elliott was among those who thought is was a bad idea.
“I appreciate you saying that you would take a 10 thousand dollar reduction and I am glad that you’re comfortable with your finances, but I don’t believe it’s fair for the next people that come along. Then we’re going to have the conversation of bringing that back up 10 thousand dollars to make it fair for someone that’s leaving their job. That’s a bad road to go down. I appreciate it, I think that your heart is in the right place, but I think we have to think about the next Councils, the next Mayor, that are coming in line.”
Councillor Martin Runge agreed.
“We want the best people in the position and the Mayor’s job is a full-time job. I know years ago it was done as a part time position with other Mayors, but the Mayor’s job is a lot of hours.”
Council’s remuneration policy is currently tied to the Consumer Price Index, which would have meant a 7.7 percent increase this year, but most felt that that number was too high including Mitch Vik.
“I don’t have any issues with the principle of aligning our remuneration with the Consumer Price Index, but I wonder if when we created this policy that we envisioned a time when we would increase our remuneration by almost 8 percent. I’m just mindful of the cost increase that will be borne by taxpayers by this, and I am wondering if we thought that maybe in another discussion we would limit our increases to an average or limit our increases to a number that is typical.”
That number turned out to be 4 percent.
Councillors Laurey-Anne Roodenburg and Martin Runge were opposed.
Runge noted that even though it’s very uncomfortable, that capping an increase could hogtie them if inflation goes even higher.
“Our salary, relative to the hours spent researching, reading and all that type of stuff, we’re most likely at 1 or 2 bucks an hour. We have to realize that this 14-thousand dollar increase for the seven of us in the scheme of our 20-million, 25-million dollar budget, is actually not that big.”
Previous increases, since Council tied remuneration to the Consumer Price Index in 2019, were 3.5%, 0.4, and 2.4 percent.
The Mayor of Quesnel will now get just under $62,022 annually, while the Councillors will receive almost $20,993.
Those increases amount to another $2,385 for the Mayor and $807 for each Councillor.
COUNCIL REMUNERATIONS FOR OTHER COMMUNITIES
Castlegar (8,039 people) $32,000 for Mayor and $16,000 for Councillors
Kitimat (8,131 people) $46,733 for Mayor and $25,931 for Councillors
Ladysmith (8,537 people) $43,770 for Mayor and $16,489 for Councillors
Nelson (10,572 people) $60,482 for Mayor and $25,413 for Councillors
Williams Lake (10,753) $50,887 for Mayor and $17,751 for Councillors
Summerland (11,615) $39,000 for Mayor and $17,200 for Councillors
Terrace (11,643 people) $43,928 for Mayor and $17,840 for Councillors
Sidney (11,672 people) $40,677 for Mayor and $16,247 for Councillors
Parksville (12,514 people) $55,850 for Mayor and $31,914 for Councillors
Sooke (13,001 people) $31,500 for Mayor and $15,750 for Councillors
Comox (14,028 people) $44,687 for Mayor and $25,599 for Councillors