An independent task force will examine compensation for Summerland’s municipal council. (Summerland Review file photo)

An independent task force will examine compensation for Summerland’s municipal council. (Summerland Review file photo)

Task force to review pay for Summerland council members

Remuneration and benefits will be considered, with changes taking effect Jan. 1, 2023

An independent task force will review compensation given to elected officials at Summerland’s council table.

At the council meeting on Feb. 28, council supported a review by a task force. Under Summerland’s council remuneration policy, compensation for councillors is to be reviewed in the last year of a council’s term, unless council chooses to waive that requirement.

The last review of council pay was done in 2018 and took effect Jan. 1, 2019. At that time, the mayor’s pay was set at $36,000 a year, up from $26,000, and pay for councillors was set at $16,200, up from $11,500. Councillors receive 45 per cent of the mayor’s pay.

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Prior to the 2019 increase, the remuneration for Summerland’s mayor and council had been unchanged since Jan. 1, 2009.

Since the 2019 increase, remuneration for members of Summerland council has been increasing by the British Columbia All-Items Consumer Price Index each Jan. 1.

Coun. Richard Barkwill supported the examination of remuneration, but questioned the need for a pay increase. “I don’t think that the situation has changed much since our last increase,” he said, but added that benefits should be available for elected officials.

Coun. Erin Trainer said any change to compensation would affect the next council, not the present council. The next election for mayor and council will be held in October, 2022.

Coun. Doug Holmes said there is no need to review the council compensation at present. He added that there are many items before council at present. He added that an examination of benefits should be a separate discussion.

Coun. Doug Patan suggested reviewing compensation since this is an election year. He said those putting their names forward will consider the remuneration and benefits before putting their names forward.

“I can see where it would be a deciding factor for someone,” he said.

The motion for the review was carried with Holmes opposed.

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