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REPORTING · 17th February 2011
Walter McFarlane
Council remuneration is once again on the table. It was brought forward at the Council meeting on February 7th. Council remuneration is tied to the Consumer Price Index and rises and falls with it. This is based on CPI as it stood on August, 2010. This year, the council wages would increase by 1.5%.

Council policy is to stick to the CPI so their pay remains consistent. Councillor Bob Corless made the motion to stick to the way Council does thing. “I think it’s a fair practice. Last year, we had a decrease of 1.1%. This year, I guess it is an increase of 1.5%. I think that it’s a way to keep the politics out of this,” said Corless.

Councillor Corrine Scott was not in favour. She expressed Kitimat was at the bottom of the average for Mayor and Council’s remuneration. The average cost of a Councillor in 2010 being $17,732, the cost of a Mayor being $47,199. Kitimat Councillors only made $11,738 in 2010 while the Mayor made $28,548.

“On the other hand, we are still in a financially difficult situation and I would vote against the motion because I think we can hold the remunerations for what it was in 2010-2011,” said Scott.

Councillor Randy Halyk said the motion was reasonable but the southern municipalities increased their remuneration based on a fair living wage. He felt full time Councillors should have a fair wage but pointed out it would be way too expensive. He felt a standard increase was reasonable unless they want to find a fair wage.

Councillor Mario Feldhoff pointed out this was based on the average increase. If they broke away from it, they start playing politics. He decided to keep the politics out of it and stick to the policy.

Mayor Joanne Monaghan stated they were below average. Municipal Manager Trafford Hall explained the policy was last revised in 1988. He explained without the policy, raises are “Grabbed at capriciously” and there is no rationale behind them. He added Council was still the second lowest.

Halyk wondered why the decision was made so late this year as it should have been made in October. The motion was called and carried.
Why not "cut the size" of Council??
Comment by Larry Walker on 22nd February 2011
I understand the Board of Education is debating the reduct of the number of Trustees by two .......since Kitimat is obviously shrinking in population why not reduce the size (and cost) of Town Council? It would make a lot of sense.