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Full-time mayor position; board compensation will increase next term

“I appreciate the work we do, and to suggest otherwise is offensive,” the adviser said. Chris Carrier told the adviser. Kathy Jeffery during compensation talks

Dueling reports over councilor pay caused consternation at the Collingwood council table on Monday night.

At the end of a lengthy and at times contentious discussion at its July 25 regular meeting, council voted to approve changing the position of mayor from part-time to full-time, keeping Collingwood council at nine members and l base rate increase. compensation for council positions at $60,900 per year for the mayor, $32,548 for the deputy mayor and $28,000 for the councilor effective at the start of the 2022-2026 council term.

“We don’t fight hard enough to explain to people what we do and what our role is,” Mayor Keith Hull said during discussions about it. “If we did a better job of communicating that, I think there would be a better appreciation that local politicians, in general, are underpaid for the work that is done, the expectations of voters and the risk and liability you take on in what is considered part-time work.

In November 2021, council voted in favor of recommendations from a report on council compensation by Gallagher Benefit Services Group which concluded that compensation for positions should be increased slightly to be competitive with comparable municipalities.

The report recommended, and council approved, adjusting the mayor’s base salary to $49,458 (9.5% increase), maintaining the deputy mayor’s salary at $32,548 and adjusting the Councillor’s base compensation at $26,712 (5% increase) to begin during the next term of Council.

In response to questions from why a second consultant’s report and council vote on the matter was needed Seven months later, City Clerk Sara Almas said council approved an additional $25,000 as part of the 2022 budget to be spent on a second consultant to dig deeper into board compensation and composition, as the Gallagher report was only based on comparison compensation.

“Council wanted a closer look with a lens on the operations of the town of Collingwood because although we are a smaller municipality, Collingwood is a designated high functioning settlement area which differs from our neighbors including our governance structure,” Almas said.

“The new report was in that context…on whether increasing board compensation and being full/part-time could increase the number and quality of potential board candidates, hence the importance of concluding the review before the next appointment.”

Christopher Chen and Matthew Tripp, on behalf of Compensation Governance Partners, presented their report on Monday evening, which used information gathered from interviews with advisors, a resident feedback survey completed by 58 residents and a group analysis of comparison taking into account the remuneration and the composition of other municipalities with a comparable budget, population, density and tourist attraction.

Based on these factors, recommendations from the second report suggested that the role of Mayor of Collingwood should be considered a full-time position and that the size of council should be kept at nine. With respect to compensation, the board received three recommendations from the consultants to consider:

  1. To change pay based on population, which would see the mayor paid $49,138 (7% increase from current salary), deputy mayor paid $32,548.05 (no change) and councilors paid $26,757 $ (4% increase)
  2. To change compensation based on the city budget, which would see the mayor paid $60,927 (33% increase), the deputy mayor paid $33,434 (3% increase), and councilors paid $30,542 (33% increase). 18%).
  3. Change only the compensation for the position of mayor, as it would go from a part-time position to a full-time position, to $60,927 (33% increase).

“The Gallagher report, as I recall, did not have an analysis like the one we have before us tonight, which looked at a wider range of comparable communities and recognized the importance of investing time and energy that advisors are doing now,” Coun said. Yvonne Hamlin at Monday’s meeting.

“I understand those who think that volunteering to be a councilor should be a public service… but I am also saying that I think we are not doing a proper service to the men and women who can put themselves at the service of our community in saying that $26,000 is enough. Having served here for nearly four years now, I believe this job is more important and carries more responsibility than any volunteer position I have had.

Com. Chris Carrier challenged Hamlin’s view.

“The private sector has just been through two and a half years of hell throughout the pandemic. There have been many people who have lost their jobs and who do not receive any compensation. The board has a compensation policy where they receive the same rate as non-unionized staff, including a raise (cost of living adjustment). You’ve kept pace with inflation,” Carrier said.

“I respect your opinion, but I disagree with it,” Carrier told Hamlin.

While council voted in favor of changing the mayor’s role to full-time equivalent by a 6-2 vote, councilors Bob Madigan and Carrier opposing it, and unanimously in favor of keeping the council of the nine in place, opinions at the table were divided on compensation.

The consultant’s recommendations 2 and 3 were rejected by 4 votes to 4.

Hamlin asked to divide the positions into individual motions.

A motion to raise the mayor’s compensation to $60,900 effective in the new term passed by a 6-2 vote, with Madigan and Carrier opposing it. However, two motions by Hamlin to increase the deputy mayor’s salary by $800 and to increase the councilman’s salary to $30,000 per year were both defeated by 4-4 votes.

Hull introduced a motion to keep the deputy mayor’s compensation at the level supported by the Gallagher report of $32,548, which was passed by a 7 to 1 vote, with Carrier opposed.

With respect to advisor compensation, the advisor. Kathy Jeffery spoke out against councilors who voted against increases.

“I find that a little insulting,” Jeffery said. “I really think…we’re failing a lot in our assessment of what it takes to sit around this table. I won’t support the status quo. It’s unreasonable in today’s climate of rising costs for everybody.

She introduced a motion to increase advisor compensation to $28,000, which is halfway between what was supported in the Gallagher report and what was supported in the Compensation Governance Partners report.

“That’s more than was contemplated here, but I can’t believe how much you don’t appreciate the work of the advisers around this table,” Jeffery said.

“I appreciate the work we do, and to suggest otherwise is offensive,” Carrier replied. “We appreciate it differently. I respect your opinion. I ask you to respect mine.

“I apologize…but I’m flabbergasted by what I’m hearing,” Jeffery said.

The motion passed 6-2, with Carrier and Madigan opposed.

All of the changes passed on Monday to board compensation and composition are expected to take effect as of the board’s next term, which begins Nov. 15.

To read the report on compensation governance partners, click here.

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