Council compensation could increase if new policy approved

by Colin Smith

A draft Council Remuneration Policy will seek to bring the pay of Morinville Council members closer to that of comparable municipalities.

The policy was brought before at its October 15 Committee Of The Whole Meeting.

If approved for the 2020 calendar year, Council base pay would rise from $25,762.40 to $35,285.88. The base honorarium for the mayor would rise from $50,796.80 year to $65,667.09 per year. The proposed increases are 36.9% for Council and 29.27% for the mayor.

The introduction of the policy principle follows a compensation review received in July that showed the Mayor and Councillors are paid significantly less than the median for elected officials in comparative Alberta municipalities, according to a compensation review.

There was a recommendation to target the market median, the 50th percentile, in which half of the comparable municipalities will pay more than Morinville and half will pay below.

The draft Council Remuneration Policy addresses this recommendation and is intended to provide the framework to support fair and equitable remuneration while creating a consistent approach for budget planning.

The draft policy will also incorporate a rise in Council honorariums to account for the loss of a tax exemption.

At the August 27 regular meeting of Town Council, Councillors voted to adjust their earnings to maintain the previous after-tax levels.

Discussions on that had been ongoing for months. The Council Remuneration Review indicated that most other municipalities had adjusted pay to account for the change.

The draft Council Compensation Policy also includes per diem rates for meetings and activities in which Council members are involved.

The policy goes back to Council for further discussion and decision.

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