DC council discusses remuneration freeze; opts to keep warm gravy train flowing

The mayor of Dawson Creek will make nearly $15,000 more over the next two years, while city councillors are set to bring in $5,000 more.

On Monday, city councillors discussed holding back on a councillor pay raise decided upon a year ago, but are pressing ahead and cashing those cheques.

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Councillor Shaely Wilbur brought up the issue of remuneration for discussion at Monday’s council meeting.

“It was something I had just asked that be brought forward to this meeting to discuss, because we are looking at making a balanced budget and where we can save some dollars,” she said. “If we’re going to look at where we can save some money that we look at ourselves first.”

This year the Mayor of Dawson Creek will take in a remuneration of $70,397, while councillors will make $23,935. (That number is not including expenses).

In 2018, the Mayor took $61,215, while councillors made $20,813. This year’s remuneration marks a 15% increase.

In 2020, the numbers are slated to become $75,325 and $25,611 — a 7% increase over 2019.

In 2021, remuneration will be adjusted effective January 1st of each year by the percentage change to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for BC (September over September of the previous year), plus 1%, which the policy notes will allow any change in the remuneration to be factored into the fall budget process.

Mayor Dale Bumstead said at the meeting that the increase was to offset new tax laws coming into effect this year. Previously, one-third of remuneration was tax-exempt, but it no longer is.

“In 2019, the Mayor’s position is taking home less money than it did in 2018 as a result of the Federal Government’s change. So the residents are paying more money, and the money is not coming back into this table,” he says. “It’s going to Ottawa.

“The remuneration policy is intended to allow us to attract people who get the chance to come and serve their community, and not have the expense out of their own pocketbook, as well as being adequately compensated so that we have the wide demographics of our community represented at this table and not be restricted because of remuneration.”

Ultimately, council did just discuss, and did not make any changes.

reporter@dcdn.ca 

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