Revelstoke councillor resigns as mayor awards himself 130% pay raise | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Revelstoke councillor resigns as mayor awards himself 130% pay raise

Revelstoke councillor Steven Cross.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Steven Cross
January 22, 2020 - 1:17 PM

A Revelstoke councillor resigned this week, accusing his peers of putting their needs before their constituents' after they awarded themselves huge pay rises.

Revelstoke councillor Steven Cross resigned at the end of council's Jan. 22 meeting, saying that approving the large raises without any third party research or vetting was a “choice to forgo transparency and to erode public trust.”

The mayor is set for a roughly 130 per cent pay raise taking his salary from $30,600 to $70,000 a year and councillors from $15,300 to $25,000 a year. The mayor and council approved the pay raise for themselves in the 2020 budget.

"I don't think this is the time,” Cross told the meeting.

“I think our community would really respect us if put the money we've already voted for ourselves back into the budget.”

Cross was highly critical of the lack of review and research put in before awarding the large increases, telling the meeting it was an “ethical issue.”

Cross put forward a motion to defer the pay raises and put the money into the infrastructure budget. He received support from Coun. Michael Brooks-Hill, but ultimately lost the vote. He then pulled out his letter of resignation and read it to the mayor and council.

“Approving pay increases of 134 per cent for mayor and 67 per cent for councillors in a budget year where council has a $500,000 revenue hole to deal with, and our roads are a mess, is a choice of self-interest over (the) mission of service to our community,” Cross said.

“I can't support that."

Such a large pay gap does not foster a sense of team and I don't believe it is the leadership model that is right for our community,” he said.

"This is not the act of making stewardship a priority, but rather the act of putting personal benefit first... the choices made of these matters erodes the public's faith and trust and I will not be a party to that practice, nor can I continue to work with this group when self-interest has so purely been chosen over the mission of service we were elected for."

The mayor thanked Cross for his service and then promptly closed the meeting.

Cross said he was giving two weeks' notice and his last day would be Feb. 7.

In comparison, Vernon Mayor Victor Cumming has a salary of $91,338 and the city has a population of roughly 40,000.

According to Statistics Canada, the population of Revelstoke in 2016 was 7,547. Summerland has a larger population than Revelstoke with 11,615 residents and the mayor makes $36,000 a year, while councillors make $11,500.

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