Wednesday, January 30, 2019

As Mayor reverts back to previous salary status; City's Council pay issues to be reviewed as part of budget process

The topic of Council compensation was raised at Monday's Committee of the Whole Session for Prince Rupert City Council, with a member of the public introducing the theme as part of the public comment period on the night.

Larry Golden made an inquiry of council as to the status of the Mayor's salary, which was expected to revert  to the previous level of 2014 as of the end of last year, that after the conclusion of a financial top up process provided from the city's then planning for major projects initiative.

In May of 2015 it was announced that the 17,000 dollar top up had been approved for the then existing Mayoralty salary of $42,474

Towards the pay issue, the Mayor confirmed Monday night that the sunset clause had come into effect at the end of December and how any discussion on salary issues would now take place through a committee process that would work along the timeline of the current budget process for 2019.

In October the Mayor introduced his plans for a Blue Ribbon Select Committee to explore a range of pay issues which in addition to his salary,  included the recent tax changes that will see Council members lose a one third exemption from Revenue Canada.

An update of sorts was provided in early November, which appeared to move the committee structure away from the Blue Ribbon panel concept,  however since that time, we haven't heard much on  the roll out of the committee plans, and Mayor Brain did not expand on the project as part of his answer of Monday evening.

The November outline noted three key elements for any future review of the salary issues:

Make a recommendation regarding how to address the impacts of the removal of the 1/3rd federal tax exemption on Council remuneration

Make a recommendation on appropriate remuneration for the Mayor and council members moving forward

Make a recommendation on an appropriate daily Per Diem framework moving forward.

The most recent SOFI declaration as of June of last year for City Council members noted that the mayor's remuneration and taxable benefits was listed at 61,300 dollars with expenses of 17,892 for 2017.

With the elimination of the top up from planning for major projects that salary level will be reduced to the 2014 level until the review is complete.

The Mayor also receives compensation for his work on Regional District and the Northwest Regional Hospital Board.

Considering the importance of the topic and the need for transparency on the issue of compensation, Council may want to provide for a more thorough review of the plan ahead when it comes to the committee plans at a future public council session.

The Q and A salary can be found as part of the City Council Video Archive starting at the twenty three minute mark.

For more items of note from Monday's City council session see our Council Timeline Feature here.

A wider overview of Council Discussion topics can be explored here.

To return to the most recent blog posting of the day, click here.

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