City Council is once again looking at how much it gets paid and if some of the ideas are passed, at the Finance Policy Committee of the Whole(FPCOW) meeting on the 18th, they could ultimately see hefty increases to their pay checks.
As someone who has and is running for council I am adamantly opposed to this, in my opinion cost of living increases should be quite adequate.
Supporters of raises cite a better wage would result in more qualified and younger people running for council. I personally tend to not look at it as a job and believe it shouldn't be looked at as a job. Personally I look at it as a privilege to serve my community and I also believe that one should not be allowed to serve more than two or three consecutive terms. With a maximum term limit you would always get some new councillors with fresh ideas.
I look at this issue and think of the widespread poverty & unemployment in Nanaimo and I have to say; what the hell are they thinking. Even at the base rate of $26,414.00 this PART TIME position pays more than what 44% of the citizens in Nanaimo earn yearly.
When you consider that 7 members of council also receive between $10,000.00 & $11,000.00 from a position on the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) they then earn more than 59% of the population, not too bad for part time work. If looked at it from the point of median incomes throughout the City council salaries, including RDN, would be the highest and again this only for a part time position.
In looking at the information provided on the agenda for tonight’s Finance Policy Committee of the Whole a councillor attends approximately 34.5 council and committee meetings, per year, as per their role as city councillor. This breaks down to approximately $746.00 per meeting, a heck of a wage when you consider each meeting might run 3 hours.
Yes they may attend other functions but even then, in my opinion, they are more than adequately compensated and as I say in these economic times a cost of living increase is adequate.
Saying that the raise is needed to attract quality people, when the salary is already more than the majority of people make, is simply denigrating those that already make less with fulltime work than councillors do part time and states they are unworthy. Giving themselves any more than a cost of living increase is a slap in the face to the citizens of Nanaimo.
Median income 5 postal areas. $23,135 Downtown, $26,294 Central, $30,933 North, $35,594 North, $30,643 South
D/N Sept 17: Council salaries may see drastic increase to reach parity
FPCOW Agenda re Council Remuneration pgs 20 - 26
Nanaimo Community Profile 2010
Nanaimo Economic Development Research & Statistics