November 20, 2013 - 1:00 PM
MAYOR PUTS COUNCIL REMUNERATION BACK ON TABLE
KAMLOOPS – Mayor Peter Milobar exercised his right to force another vote on council pay raises so he and all councillors would have a say.
The decision was made because only six councillors attended the Oct. 22 meeting and only four voted in favour of the motion to accept a task force recommendation to step in pay increases starting in the next council term. Milobar said the lack of a clear majority of the nine council members was the pushing factor in bringing the motion back to the table Tuesday, the first fully-attended meeting since.
“I've given this a lot of thought,” he said, opening the unfinished business portion of the agenda. “It's not something I'm actually relishing doing because I don't think it's something a mayor should do very often.”
At the October meeting councillors Marg Spina and Pat Wallace, along with Milobar, were absent. The trio were all originally against the idea of both the task force creation and a council pay raise. This left Coun. Ken Christian, another original dissenter, to carry the lone vote completely against the idea.
Coun. Tina Lange joined in voting against the motion at the October meeting.
“I didn't vote against the recommendation,” Coun. Tina Lange said Tuesday, “I just wasn't in favour of a stepped increase for the next council. But I will vote in favour today.”
There was no other discussion about revisiting the motion and it again passed, this time with a majority 5-4 vote in favour of the stepped increase beginning in the next term. Councillors Spina, Wallace and Christian joined Milobar in voting against the raise.
The raises will go into effect at the beginning of the next term in early 2015. The first phase will see a raise of about $5,000 with councillors earning a total of about $10,000 more by 2017. Benefits will also become optional for councillors (the mayor already receives them) and a communications allowance will be discontinued and council will instead be offered a cell phone, tablet or laptop under the city plan to help keep things more efficient.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013