PORT ALICE—The Village’s mayor and councillors could see a boost in compensation, their first since 1994, if council approves a sweeping bylaw that received first reading during council’s Apr. 10 meeting.
Remuneration Bylaw No. 596, 2013, would boost compensation for elected officials 50 per cent and tie future increases to increases in employee wages as approved within the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Upon approval of the bylaw, scheduled to take effect in June, the mayor’s remuneration will go to $10,800 per year from $7,200, and councillors will receive $7,200 annually, up from $4,800. This would bring their annual compensation into line with provincial averages for other municipalities with operating budgets of similar size ($13,000 for mayors, $7,800 for councillors).
The Village of Port Alice is a corporation with an annual operating budget of more than $3 million.
During deliberations on the 2013 budget, councillors discovered the remuneration had not changed for nearly 20 years, and requested administrator Madeline McDonald to research the compensation for other communities in B.C.
Utilizing data from the Union of B.C. Municipalities survey statistics and calls to other North Island communities, McDonald found the combined compensation for mayor and council, $26,400 per year, was less than the cost of the Village’s annual audit. It was also the second-lowest rate of compensation in the province among communities with similar operating budgets.
Bylaw 596 also features provisions that will ensure another 19 years do not pass before a future council revisits the matter of its compensation.
In its review, the Village found council compensation is not regularly reviewed during annual budget discussions, but the new bylaw will include automatic annual review.
Council was initially scheduled to give first, second and third readings to the bylaw during its Apr. 10 meeting, but chose to approve first reading and publish the bylaw information in the Village newsletter, the Rumble Sheet, to provide an opportunity for public input.
Port Alice Council Remuneration
1994 – 2012
Effective May 2013
Communities with an Average Operating Budget of $3,000,000
Average remuneration for the mayor is $13,000
Average remuneration for the councilor is $7,800
North Island Communities Averages (Rounded)
Port Hardy $24,000 /$12,000