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Erin council defers decision on remuneration changes

by Olivia Rutt

ERIN - Erin councillors have deferred a decision about their remuneration following a report from clerk Dina Lundy on Nov. 21.

Erin councillors asked for a report on the impact of the federal government’s decision to put an end to the one-third tax exemption for municipal councillors in 2019.

Lundy’s report outlined the procedure to review the remuneration within the last 12 months of council’s term. Municipalities have until Jan. 1, 2019 to make necessary changes.

Once the one-third tax exemption is removed, the mayor would see a net pay decrease of $3,117 and councillors would see a decrease of $1,870. To maintain the same net pay, an increase of $4,722 for the mayor and $2,833 for each councillor would be required.

Mayor Allan Alls said the figures would be based on the tax rate of a councillor pay and not the total income.

“All of us have got income on top of that, so really, the net results will be considerably less than what you’re seeing here, no matter what we do,” he said.

If council were to increase the remuneration, it would cost $26,662 per year in total. If the council chose to do nothing, it would still cost the town about $8,000 in additional payroll costs, as cost of living adjustments for council are tied to adjustments for staff.

“It did require some thinking because we’re trying to keep costs down in our community,” said councillor Matt Sammut, adding he wanted a comparison between remuneration paid to Erin council and that paid to councils elsewhere.  

“If I give you some of these numbers, there are other considerations - some pay mileage, some don’t pay mileage, some pay for extra meetings, we don’t pay for extra meetings; so there is a lot to take into consideration,” said Lundy.

In Erin the mayor is paid $27,500 and councillors are paid $16,500. Elsewhere in the county, 2016 base remuneration is as follows:

- Centre Wellington: $28,170 for the mayor and $18,781 for councillors;

- Guelph-Eramosa: mayor $16,059, councillors $13,757;

- Puslinch: mayor $22,936, councillors $15,638; and

- Wellington North: mayor $18,659, councillors $12,689.

Councillor Jeff Duncan asked to defer the matter until the December meeting.  

“We’re setting this rate for what they are going to be and if we don’t do something, then the people who are coming in will be making probably less than the people did two terms of council ago or close to it,” he added.

“Three days or three months, won’t make any difference in my thinking, but it [may] in others,” said Alls.  

Sammut wanted to see a committee of community members, the CAO and the treasurer make the decision to bring to council.

“Part of me thinks, especially in smaller communities, where there’s only five of us sitting here, it would be nice if our CAO together with a small committee could say this is what really makes sense for this group,” he said.

Alls said council should consider increasing the remuneration to keep the same net pay.

“I think council is quite aware that I put in a lot more time in than any other mayor has ... and I don’t do it because of remuneration obviously,” he said.

“I wouldn’t want to call it a joke, it isn’t, but it isn’t significant enough to make any one of us to want to run for these jobs for that reason.”

Council deferred its decision until the Dec. 12 meeting.

 

December 1, 2017

 
 

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