West Kelowna council will see wages for it’s members rise by the 2018 CPI increase next year. But to get that increase, members of the current council will have to be re-elected in October’s civic election.—Image: City of West Kelowna

CPI to be used to hike council salaries in West Kelowna

Mayor says city keeping the status quo when it comes to how it increases politicians’ pay

West Kelowna council has formalized its plan to hike the salary of the mayor and councillors by the consumer prize index each year from now on.

Earlier this week, council voted to, in the the words of Mayor Doug Findlater, “maintain the status quo,” by approving a plan to continue using the annual increase in the CPI as the yearly raise for the city’s elected politicians.

That means next year the mayor will be paid $67,253, plus an adjustment based on the CPI for the 12-month period from January to December this year, while each of the six councillors will receive $22,826 plus an adjustment based on the CPI for the same period.

In 2020, and effective each Jan. 1 after that, the mayoral and councillor indemnities will be adjusted based on the CPI for the previous year. If the amount is negative, salaries will remain at the level they are at that time.

“I just want to state that we went through this extensively last week and essentially what we are doing is (maintaining) the status quo with the CPI,” said Mayor Doug Findlater earlier this week at a council meeting.

Some other municipalities set up outside committees to study council remuneration and make recommendations in the last year before a civic election in order to set the wages for the incoming council members.

In West Kelowna’s case, it also plans to provide council members with a five per cent increase in the per diem for meals when representing the city on municipal business or during out-of-town travel on behalf of the city. The new meal per diems will range between $16 and $21 for breakfast, $21 and $32 for lunch and $33 and $54 for dinner depending on where the elected official goes in B.C. as well as out province.

In addition, an annual expense provision of $250 for the mayor and $100 each for councillors will be provided for entertaining guests on municipal business within the city boundaries.

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