Context is everything

"They don't look like they're in step with a lot of economic times people are facing." That's what Community and Rural Development Minister Ben Stewart said when the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. asked about Port Coquitlam's decision to increase the salaries for its mayor and councillors by 27 percent and 42 percent respectively. "However, in a community like Port Coquitlam, where they haven't dealt with this issue for 15 years, they need to establish more regular reviews of it and not leave it for so long," the minister said, having earlier told The Vancouver Sun's Kelly Sinoski he had asked his staff to review the raise. That brouhaha has made headlines and broadcasts across the Lower Mainland. But, put in context, it has also been a source of amusement for the chattering classes. Consider this:

* Port Coquitlam's Mayor Greg Moore is actually a former provincial Liberal regional organizer and candidate - having unsuccessful ran for the party in the 2005 election;

* when he was an organizer, Mr. Moore was responsible for the Okanagan and the Kootenays - which includes the riding Mr. Stewart was elected to represent in 2009; and

* many of Minister Stewart's caucus colleagues were part of the Liberals' 2007 decision to support a controversial pay and pension increase for legislators that saw their base salary boosted by 29 percent.

Fancy that!

3 Comments

http://vancouver.ca/ctyclerk/mayorcouncil/remuneration.htm

instead of periodic, meteoric pay increases, vancouver elected officials have a formula that is updated regularly. regardless of whether you agree or not with how much they are paid, avoiding a huge leap is pretty easy to do.

Not one BC Liberal MLA has a right to make any comment on this considering the hefty and unwarranted raise the MLA's and the Premier gave themselves. This is just more hypocritical nonsense coming out of this government.

I think it's a slow news cycle right now, because this is a non-story. It sounds like these city councilors and the mayor have been getting underpaid for a long time. Not too many jobs get this far behind cost of living raises.
Who can afford to live on $22,257, which is what councilors have been paid for 15 years? Obviously few could afford that, so they must work, or what not. For a part-time job look at their responsibilities and ask how you would fit that into your working day? (see below)

I tend to think we should make compensation attractive enough to bring good people in who are in charge of decision-making regarding municipal matters. And, as has been pointed out, the citizen's advisory committee from the city concluded they were at the bottom of the rankings. These raises aren't pushing them to the top of the salary range. The Mayor's raise still puts him in at #8 for mayors around the Lower Mainland.

A quick look at the PC city website shows a bunch of folks with a wealth of civic experience and a lot of work being done on behalf of their citizens, shouldn't that warrant decent renumeration?

See for yourselves: http://www.city.port-coquitlam.bc.ca/City_Hall/City_Council.htm

PS. No, I'm not on the PC payroll, I'm just tired of all the griping about people being paid commensurate to education & experience.

"Not one BC Liberal MLA has a right to make any comment on this considering the hefty and unwarranted raise the MLA's and the Premier gave themselves. This is just more hypocritical nonsense coming out of this government. "

The NDP doesn't have the right to gripe about it either.

"I think it's a slow news cycle right now, because this is a non-story. It sounds like these city councilors and the mayor have been getting underpaid for a long time. Not too many jobs get this far behind cost of living raises."

Indeed. And why does it take an expensive Mayor to look after a city when they already have $110,000 a year managers?

"Who can afford to live on $22,257, which is what councilors have been paid for 15 years? Obviously few could afford that, so they must work, or what not. For a part-time job look at their responsibilities and ask how you would fit that into your working day? (see below) "

Its not a full time job for many when it comes to doing work related to council meetings (and not attending church socials or events such as the Loyal Order of Celtic Crusaders or the Sons of Iceland's Annual Meeting, or even the Anyox Residents Alumi Association.

Used to be it was indeed a part time thing, people had their day jobs and kept them, attending council at night, with twice or three times a week attending to city matters by the Mayor at his/her office at City Hall.

"I tend to think we should make compensation attractive enough to bring good people in who are in charge of decision-making regarding municipal matters."

Compensation does not nessearily attract the best people.
Examples are Gregor Roberton and Gordon Campbell.

People serve on council to serve the community, not themselves.


And, as has been pointed out, the citizen's advisory committee from the city concluded they were at the bottom of the rankings. These raises aren't pushing them to the top of the salary range. The Mayor's raise still puts him in at #8 for mayors around the Lower Mainland.

So what? PC does not have the highest population in the Lower Mainland, and since when does population actually affect what it is the Mayor himself does? A person can accomplish the same thing in a town of 25,000 as can be done in a town of 65,000. The real work comes from the City Manager and the Department Managers.

"PS. No, I'm not on the PC payroll, I'm just tired of all the griping about people being paid commensurate to education & experience. "

Which leaves Greg Moore out for sure. The only thing he's been able to do is get in on BC Liberal largesse, since he was the Regional Organizer for the Kootenays despite not actally living over there.

One does not need a B.Comm or MBA to be mayor of a city.
I've known small business people without an MBA who became Mayor and were quite good at it.

Seems to be more ego than anything else with Moore.

If you're in it for just the money, you're no good to the community. I;m interested in what you intend to accomplish after being elected and how you intend to respresent the citizens. I'm not interested in what it is that built up an ego or sense of self-importance.


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