DISTRICT OF PORT HARDY PHOTO                                Port Hardy council has agreed to have its wages reviewed in the new year.

DISTRICT OF PORT HARDY PHOTO Port Hardy council has agreed to have its wages reviewed in the new year.

Port Hardy council pay to be put under microscope

In May of each municipal election year, an independent committee is formed to review council pay.

Should Port Hardy council get a raise in the new year?

A staff report on council remuneration, written by Director of Corporate Services, Heather Nelson-Smith, was discussed at the District of Port Hardy’s last meeting of 2017.

“Historically, council remuneration is reviewed in each year in which a general election is conducted as per the district’s present and past council remuneration bylaws,” wrote Nelson-Smith in her report.

Port Hardy’s Bylaw No. 17-2011, section 2.4, states: “In May of each municipal election year, an independent committee will be formed to review council remuneration. The committee will be comprised of three district residents and any recommended increase in remuneration will become effective Jan. 1 of the following year.”

“Traditionally, three residents have been invited to participate on the Council Remuneration Committee (CRC),” added Nelson-Smith. “And once the participants have been confirmed, staff forwards to them, statistical information as to renumeration and expenses paid to mayors and councillors in other municipal jurisdictions in British Columbia, that can be used by the committee in conducting its review.”

Nelson-Smith recommended council “proceed with the formation of the CRC for the purposes of conducting the 2018 Council Remuneration Review, and once the committee has been confirmed, that staff provide it with the necessary background/research information to assist the committee in conducting its review.”

“Can we all come and cry when they’re doing their deliberations so they can see that we’re not earning a whole lot of money?” laughed Coun. Leightan Wishart.

Mayor Hank Bood added he has been on the committee in the past, “and the committee gets a lot of responses from UBCM (Union of British Columbia Municipalities) about what towns our size get paid, so at the end of the day they have a pretty good handle on what we should be making.”

Council passed Nelson-Smith’s recommendation.

Each year municipalities are required to release a Statement of Financial Information outlining remuneration and expenses of elected individuals as well as government employees paid over $75,000 a year.

Bood was paid $24,776.04 in 2016, while Port Hardy councillors were paid $10,323.40-$12,338.08 each. Port Hardy’s population in 2016 was 4,132.