by Colin Smith
The pay of Morinville Council members is going up following the adoption of a Council Remuneration Policy at its October 22 regular meeting.
Councillors’ base honorariums will now be $35,285.88, up from $25,762.40. The mayor will be paid $65,667.09 per year, compared to the previous $50,796.80 year base. The proposed increases are 36.9% for councillors and 29.27% for the mayor.
The hike follows the compensation policy aim to pay Morinville Council members at the market median rate for comparable municipalities, the 50th percentile, so that half are paying more than Morinville and half paying below.
Adoption of the policy follows a compensation review that showed the Mayor and Councillors are paid significantly less than the median for elected officials in comparative Alberta municipalities.
The policy also includes some changes to per diem rates for meetings and activities in which Council members are involved.
The aim of the policy is to provide the framework to support fair and equitable remuneration while creating a consistent approach for budget planning.
“One of the things this policy does is strengthen clarification to produce guidelines, which I am very thankful for, and clean up those rules to make it very easy to understand,” said Mayor Barry Turner.
“In addition, it looked at setting Council’s wages at the median of comparator municipalities…so it’s putting Council and Administration under the same philosophy.”
Incorporated into that was a rise in Council honorariums to account for the loss of a tax exemption, discussions of which had been ongoing for months. The compensation review indicated that most other municipalities had adjusted the pay of their council members to account for the change.