Should Vernon council members be paid more?
If you ask the mayor, he says yes.
Akbal Mund was responding to concerns from cities like Kelowna, about Ottawa ending, in January, the one-third tax exemption that civic politicians currently get.
Mund says if you want quality people to run for council, you have to pay them adequately.
“You’re going to have a tough time attracting people in a few years here, because everything is changing, and people are going to start going, ‘Why would I do that (run for/be on council)?'” Mund told Beach Radio News.
To make up for the tax change, Kelowna council has increased its councillor’s pay by three thousand dollars, and the mayor’s by over 11-thousand.
Vernon councillors have a base pay around 24-thousand dollars a year, while the mayor was paid 72-thousand dollars last year.
“People sometimes have it in their mind that we get paid hundreds of thousands of dollars, maybe because (they compare it to what they are paid) in bigger communities like Vancouver,” says Mund.
A committee — which includes former mayor Rob Sawatzky — is looking into council’s remuneration, and will report back to the city later this year.