Pitt Meadows secondary’s basketball program will be getting an injection of cash this year thanks to a donation from a city councillor.
Coun. David Murray will be donating the seven-per-cent salary increase he received this year to the high school’s Grade 8 and senior teams. It will amount to $1,500, but he’s hoping to stretch the donation by working out a deal with a sporting goods store for new shoes or other equipment.
“I’m going to sit down with coach Rich Goulet and figure out where he needs it to go,” said Murray.
Two weeks ago, city council struggled with a bylaw that recommended the significant increase in their wages while discussing proposed budget cuts and a demand for no new taxes in 2014.
In the end, each member of council decided to donate the whole amount or a portion of the increase back to a local charity.
When he ran for a seat on Pitt Meadows council, Murray pledged to donate all his salary increases to charity. In the past two years, Kids Sports has been a beneficiary.
“Sports is something I’m really passionate about,” he said.
Pitt Meadows Mayor Deb Walters said each councillor will decide how to disclose where their donations will be going.
She will be donating her increase (almost $5,000) to the city’s centennial celebrations, which will take place next year, as will councillors Janis Elkerton and Bruce Bell.
Couns. Tracy Miyashita and Gwen O’Connell have yet to publicly disclose which charities will benefits from their donations. Neither returned calls for comment.
Coun. Doug Bing has not been receiving a salary from the city since he was elected as a member of the provincial legislature in May. He is set to resign his council seat in January.
As per the Council Indemnity Bylaw, council salaries are reviewed on Jan. 1 each year.
The mayor’s salary is then adjusted to 75 per cent of the published median salary of all Metro Vancouver mayors for the preceding year, while councillors make 37.5 per cent of the mayor’s salary.
The pay increases were not determined by council, but recommended by an independent committee, which drafted the bylaw in 2008.
Pitt Meadows council salaries, however, have risen 50 per cent over six years.
In 2013, the mayor will earn $70,864, compared to $47,160 in 2008.
Councillors are set to make $26,574, compared to $17,544 in 2008. Unlike MLAs. No one will get a pension from the city.