TAYLOR, B.C. – Taylor councillors have voted in favour of a recommendation from Financial Services Director Michael McPhail that District councillors receive renumeration for attending meetings outside of the District, but excluded also increasing the mayor’s base salary beyond the rate of inflation.
At Monday’s committee of the whole meeting, councillors discussed McPhail’s third report on the subject since the issue of mayor and council getting compensation for attending meetings outside of the District was brought up at the beginning of September.
Council had deferred making a decision on the topic on two occasions, saying that more information about which meetings councillors would be able to claim meeting fees, and whether a graduated scale of renumeration should be developed depending on the length of a meeting instead of a flat meeting fee.
At an open public meeting about the proposed bylaw, a number of District residents came to give their thoughts on the proposed pay raise for councillors, with mayoral candidate Laura Prosko, council candidate Sherry Davies, and Jennifer Simpson speaking out against it.
Council candidate Michelle Turnbull and residents Matt Edgar and Rick Banack spoke in favour of councillors accepting meeting fees, saying that many council members have increased the hours they have spent in performing civic duties.
Mayor Rob Fraser clarified that he had worked approximately 1,600 hours performing mayoral duties in the past 14 months, which works out to an average of 28.5 hours per week.
Councillors voted in favour of passing McPhail’s recommendation, albeit with an amendment removing the proposed increase in the mayor’s base salary by $4,600 to $28,000 per year.
Councillors did vote in favour of being able to claim meeting fees for attending pre-approved meetings outside of the District.
All members of council will be eligible to claim $100 for a meeting(s) lasting up to four hours, $200 for a meeting(s) between four and seven hours, and $300 for a meeting(s) running longer than 7 hours, in addition to their base salary.
The meeting fees will be applicable for all meetings councillors attend on or after January 1st, 2019.
Council members, including the mayor, will see a Cost of Living Allowance increase in 2019, with future COLA increases to be determined based on inflation during yearly budget discussions.