Council nixes a pay raise for itself

West Kelowna council decided to forego a raise this year and remain at 2010 levels of remuneration.

  • Fri Feb 11th, 2011 8:00pm
  • News

West Kelowna council decided to forego a raise this year and remain at 2010 levels of remuneration.

The district previously attempted to establish the best level of compensation based on other municipalities in B.C.

Other municipalities examined included the district of North Cowichan and the cities of Penticton, Campbell River, Vernon, Port Moody and Langley. Median compensation was $63,432 for mayors and $22,606 for councillors in 2011.

With no increase, West Kelowna council salaries remain at $60,853 for the mayor and $20,501 for councillors.

Mayor Doug Findlater noted Vernon introduced an additional element by making councillors eligible for a flat fee of $157 per meeting, in addition to their base salary.

He pointed out such a fee encourages attendance, but throws off West Kelowna’s comparison.

He said the system of determining compensation needs to be revisited. Last year, he suggested a citizen’s committee or independent review would be appropriate.

“This again has produced some anomalies I’m very uncomfortable with.”

Coun. Gord Milsom suggested a per meeting fee not be present in West Kelowna’s policy.

He noted the difference between the 2010 and 2011 figures is small.

Milsom proposed no increase this year, and that any decision on compensation be revisited next year.

Coun. Carol Zanon agreed, and asked whether the raise last year was really worth the heated discussions and extra meetings.

In January 2010, West Kelowna councillors received a 0.74 per cent salary hike.

She would like to see a set council policy.

“If you had a citizen panel, what would they do differently from what we do here?” said Zanon.

Zanon noted that if Vernon is doing something different, then another comparable municipality should be chosen.

Coun. Bryden Winsby said council needs to consider what the job is worth. He pointed out they are looking at comparisons that are reasonable.

“If we’re just trying to look good and set an example, I think we’re just kidding ourselves,” said Winsby.

msimmons@kelownacapnews.com