Citizens committee created for council pay
Tuesday, Oct 30, 2012 06:00 am
For the first time since 2005 a committee of citizens at large will be created to review the pay structures for members of town council.
On Oct. 15, council members were asked to look at a motion to review the revised council remuneration policy.
However, council opted instead to have the town establish an ad hoc public committee, comprised of three to five citizens with at least one town administrative support member, to look at the existing system along with those used by other municipalities. The committee has until Dec. 1 to finish its review.
“This should be up to the people we represent,” said Coun. Myron Thompson.
Dean Pickering, the town’s chief administrative officer, said he has reviewed the models used by other communities, adding Sundre’s system is consistent with what other towns provide.
“It’s very comparable,” said Pickering, adding he would like to see a local accountant be part of the ad hoc committee as the profession understands salary grid structures for elected officials.
Sundre’s council members now use a system that includes a standard base salary for their time and service, including attendance at in-town council, board and committee meetings. Members of council also receive travel and general allowance every two weeks. If they have to attend an out-of-town meeting that lasts a minimum of four hours members will receive a per diem allowance of $175 per day.
Currently, the mayor receives $463.45 basic pay every two weeks, a travel allowance of $115.86 and a general allowance of $115.86. The annual remuneration works out to a total of $18,074.42, or $695.17 every two weeks. Basic pay is taxable.
A councillor receives $315.14 basic pay every two weeks, as well as $78.79 for travel allowance and $78.79 for general allowance. The total annual remuneration is $12,290.72, or $472.72 every two weeks.
Pickering said the committee could look at a few different models, including setting the basic pay much lower and paying members of council a set amount for the meetings they attend, while not receiving any money for meetings they could not attend.
“If we don’t attend meetings we shouldn’t be paid,” said Coun. Tony Jordan at the Oct. 15 council meeting.