If Kelowna politicians heed the findings of a citizen task force that looked into their wages, public office won’t come with a pay raise until 2014.
“The task force felt that council should take a leadership role showing restraint and fiscal responsibility, indicated by the economic climate coming out of the recession,” reads a report that will be presented to council Monday. “A conservative approach is recommended with respect to increasing any direct costs to tax payers and to therefore consider a modest and gradual increase schedule as the economy finishes ramping back.”
If the recommendations are the direction council will take, the mayors wage will stay at $89,457 for 2012 and 2013, while councillors will see their yearly wage stick at $31,310.
When 2014 rolls around, the mayor’s wage will be adjusted to match the consumer price index for the previous year.
While wage increases were one issue that the task force was convened to look at last February, they were also asked to weigh in on whether councillors should receive benefits, and their answer was no.
“A primary consideration in reviewing benefits was the one-third indemnity for councillors that is provided tax-free,” reads the report. “This savings, as well as the part time status of the position, (lead) to consensus that the premiums for extended health/medical/dental remain the responsibility of each individual councillor.”
The mayor’s eligibility for benefits, on the other hand, was another issue. “The mayor’s duties and responsibilities were considered full-time and the recommended remuneration must therefore take this under consideration,” reads the report, “it’s recommended the city be responsible for 50 per cent of the premiums for an extended health benefit package for the mayor.”