Former mayor Rob Sawatzky makes presentation to Vernon council after he chaired a remuneration review committee (Pete McIntyre/Beach Radio photo)
The next Vernon council will be getting a pay raise.
The current council has approved all 10 recommendations made by a citizens committee that reviewed the remuneration issue.
The committee was chaired by former Mayor Rob Sawatzky.
“We were quite surprised that (comparable communities they looked at) a number of them used a process whereby administration alone suggested to mayor and council what their remuneration should be. And I want to congratulate this council and this administration for a much healthier and more open democratic public process.”
Sawatzky says he doesn’t understand how an employee from some of those other communities could suggest to a boss how much they should make, and not be perceived as a potential conflict of interest.
“This community has a much better process.”
Under the recommendations, the mayor’s pay will rise each year over the next four years, from 76-thousand dollars, to 98-thousand, tied to a per capita ratio based on the population.
Councillors will get 37% of what the mayor receives, up from the current 34% — which works out to about 28-thousand dollars to start — rising to 36-thousand by 2021.
Mayor Akbal Mund says higher pay will encourage quality people to run.
“Lot of people — you know the keyboard warriors — can sit on social media and complain about pay raises, but at the same time, they don’t know how much work is involved.”
Councillor Brian Quiring also agrees council members should be paid more.
“It’s a ton of work. It’s not enough. It should be more. It should be a higher pay for people on council because it’s a ton of work.”
Council members will also get an 11 percent pay increase in January to offset federal tax changes that will eliminate their current one-third tax exemption.
Glenn Benischek CEO of VantageOne Credit Union and Wee Yee, retired engineering executive and 55+ Games Society President, were the other committee members.