Pitt Meadows to review escalating council salaries

They have risen 50 per cent since last reviewed in 2007.

Pitt Meadows will revisit the contentious issue of council salaries this year as they have increased by 50 per cent since last reviewed in 2007.

In a report to council Tuesday, staff recommend the city again establish an independent committee to investigate how much elected officials get paid.

“The purpose of council remuneration is to provide an incentive for community members to hold public office and to compensate them for their time and the expenses they incur while carrying out their duties on behalf of city,” Pitt Meadows chief administrative officer Kim Grout noted in her report.

As per the Council Indemnity Bylaw, created by a committee of residents in 2008, 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.

Since the last review, however, Pitt Meadows council salaries have risen 50 per cent.

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.

From 2012 to 2013, salaries went up seven per cent, causing councillors to recommend the city review them.

Pitt Meadows Mayor Deb Walters, and councillors Janis Elkerton and Bruce Bell have previously stated they would be donating the seven-per cent increase received in 2013 to charity, namely the city’s centennial celebration committee.

Coun. Dave Murray donated his to Pitt Meadows secondary’s basketball program.

Prior to 2008, council remuneration was adjusted annually on Jan. 1 based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the Metropolitan Vancouver Area for the preceding year.

Staff also presented council with alternatives to an independent review committee. They include setting salaries to the CPI or hiring a consultant for $6,000 to conduct the review according to guidelines set out in 2008.