Town councillors cannot come up with a consensus on council’s remuneration policy, which is why it was sent back to administration to review.
Among the changes in the proposed policy, presented to council Tuesday, June 14 during the regular meeting, was to make provisions for boards appointed by council. An example of these boards would be the library board or the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board, explained CAO Albert Flootman.
Another change related to adding workshops to the policy, which include budget sessions and strategic planning, is eligibility for per diem compensation.
In addition, the wording to the amendment that members of boards appointed by council would be entitled to per diems, caused some confusion. Coun. Carla Prediger voiced her concern over the change. As an example, she pointed out that the new Police Advisory Committee is appointed by council.
Flootman clarified that the intent is for those town councillors appointed to a specific board, but also offered that this clause would be clarified to show for councillors.
Coun. Loanna Gulka added she would like to see some additional pay for councillors acting as mayor.
“The mayor’s pay reflects the greater duties on a weekly basis,” offered Flootman.
Some municipalities do offer separate pay for deputy mayors. One example is the Town of Devon, which has three levels of pay: councillor, deputy mayor and mayor. The deputy mayor role sees almost $100 per month extra. Town of Ponoka councillors have a rotating schedule for deputy mayor.
There are also special committees that take extra time and Coun. Teri Underhill would like to see those included in the remuneration policy. She refers to the Day in the Park and Canada Day committees, which take some extra planning. However, those sub-committees are not a formal appointment and do not fall under the proposed policy.
Another area the proposed remuneration policy relates to is if a councillor is absent from three regular meetings of council, there would also be a deduction of $200 for every meeting missed after that.
Among acceptable expenses are the inclusions of registration fees for conferences, accommodations, meals and subsistence — excluding alcoholic beverages — parking fees and mileage. Any type of alcohol will not be paid for by the town. Payment for travel is based on the most economic route.
The policy will be brought back to council during a committee of the whole meeting for further discussion.