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Crowsnest council sets remuneration increase

Thursday, 20 October 2022. Posted in Shootin' the Breeze

Crowsnest council sets remuneration increase

Crowsnest council sets remuneration increase
By Sean Oliver
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Last month, Crowsnest Pass council approved increasing the remuneration for council members after administration presented a report showing the municipality’s rates were significantly below other jurisdictions of a similar size.

During the Sept. 27 regular meeting, council approved increasing the councillor stipend from $721 to $965 and the mayor stipend from $1,030 to $1,350. Council also approved increasing the half-day meeting rate (three hours or less) from $100 to $150 and the full-day (over three hours) rate from $200 to $275.

The meeting allowances will also be applied to reimburse up to two councillors who tow the municipal float and attend other communities’ parades. 

The increases, said Mayor Blair Painter, provide fairer compensation for the responsibilities and expectations placed on council members.

“When we have to sit here for four hours, our administration gets paid more per hour than we do and we’re the ones that are held accountable to our community. Think about that,” he said.

Since the federal government stopped exempting elected officials’ compensation from the take-home amount used to calculate income tax in 2019, the amount of money council members actually receive has decreased, which has led to fewer people putting their names forward in elections, the mayor added.

Coun. Glen Girhiny agreed.

“I’m fairly new to this, but the time that you subconsciously commit is substantial,” he said. “Three years from now, there’s going to be another election. We need people who are willing to come forward and run to sit at this table — and hopefully this will help attract some people.”

Offering fairer compensation, said Coun. Dean Ward, was an appropriate thing to do.

“This isn’t about getting rich, this is about compensating people at a fair rate for the time they put in,” he said. “If you’re looking for this to be a paying job, go to Timmies. You’ll make more than you make as a councillor.”

The new remuneration rates will take effect in 2023.