New Year, inflation mean big raises for some Kamloops, Okanagan councils | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source
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New Year, inflation mean big raises for some Kamloops, Okanagan councils

West Kelowna Mayor Gord Milsom will get paid more than $1,000 per month more in 2023.
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Canada’s high inflation rate means mayors and councillors in Kamloops and Kelowna will likely get a pay raise this year of about 7%.

Their counterparts in West Kelowna will see hikes almost twice that much.

Put Penticton’s elected officials get nothing.

That city’s new mayor, Julius Bloomfield, will get paid $83,000 in 2023, the same as his predecessor. Councillors will continue at $27,500.

“There will be no change in 2023 as the new council, at its December 20, meeting voted to freeze pay, not taking an increase which is based on inflation,” the city said in an email to iNFOnews.ca.

That’s not the direction Vernon or West Kelowna councils took, where both their mayors were re-elected.

Last summer, West Kelowna voted to increase Mayor Gordon Milsom’s salary by 13.4% to $88,240, a $12,037 increase.

Councillors did even better percentage-wise, giving themselves a 17.6% increase to $30,884, although that’s only $5,445 more per year.

That decision was based on the recommendation of a five-member task force that said, in part, council had been under-compensated for years and the city needs to be regionally comparable in order to “encourage and attract diversity at the table.”

READ MORE: West Kelowna mayor's new salary to be largest per capita of region's cities

Vernon's increase comes out to 10.9% across the board.

That gives re-elected Mayor Victor Cumming a $11,024 raise to $112,157 while councillors get a $4,079 boost to $41,498.

A Council Remuneration Committee explained to council, in August, that the mayor’s pay was based on $2.44 per capita while councillors get 37% of that amount.

The city's population grew to 44,519 for the 2021 census which accounts for part of the increase. Their inflationary factor is based on a five-year rolling average, which came in at 3.25% as of November 2022 compared to 2% in previous years, according to an email from the City of Vernon.

READ MORE: Vernon's next mayor and council set for hefty pay rise

New Kelowna Mayor Tom Dyas’ pay hike is based on the Vancouver Consumer Price Index increase for the year. That won’t be published until Jan. 17.

As of the end of November, B.C.’s inflation rate was 7.2%.

It that rate remains the same through December, that would give Dyas an $8,186 boost to $121,876 while councillors would get $2,782 more to $41,421.

Kamloops councillors will have to wait a little longer because their pay hikes are not based strictly on Vancouver’s Consumer Price Index.

They have a policy where the pay rates for 14 municipalities are compared. First the highest and lowest are taken out then an average calculated.

If new Kamloops Mayor Reid Hamer-Jackson’s pay rate is 90% to 100% of the average of the 12 remaining cities, he would get an inflationary increase.

At 7.2%, that would amount to $7,700 extra, bringing his salary to $114,704.

But, if his salary is less than 90% of the average, he would get double that amount, hitting $122,404.

Councillors could get either about $3,000 or $6,000 more bringing their wage to $45,801 or $48,801.

READ MORE: Kamloops and Okanagan housing values up 10% to 15%

This is how the mayor’s pay stacks up in the region’s five largest cities (assuming Kamloops and Kelowna mayors get 7.2% increases).

  • $121,876 – Kelowna
  • $114,704 – Kamloops
  • $112,157 – Vernon
  • $88,240 – West Kelowna
  • $83,000 – Penticton

This is how the councillor's pay stacks up in the region’s five largest cities (assuming Kamloops and Kelowna mayors get 7.2% increases).

  • $45,801 – Kamloops
  • $41,498 – Vernon
  • $41,421 – Kelowna
  • $30,884 – West Kelowna
  • $27,500 – Penticton

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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