Lumby politicians see pay hike

Remuneration increase long overdue, Mayor says

Council remuneration is getting what the Mayor called an overdue boost.

Village of Lumby councillors supported increasing remuneration for all paid members of council at the regular Dec. 10 meeting.

“They needed a significant increase,” said Mayor Kevin Acton. “It’s really hard to put a number to what we do. It’s really an honorarium.”

Beginning in January 2019, the Mayor’s remuneration will increase to $16,450 from $13,035 and councillors will be bumped up to $8,755 from $1,849 for increases of $3,415 and $1,849 respectively.

Related: Vernon council approves pay raise

The need for the increase is twofold. Acton noted that raises haven’t occurred in several years and, as such, salaries have fallen behind the steady Consumer Price Index (CPI) increase as well as the need to compensate for Canada Revenue Agency’s decision to remove the one third salary tax exemption benefit previously available to politicians in any level of government.

In a report to council, Melanie Wenzoski, manager of administration, said the tax exemption on one third of the remuneration paid sought to “cover incidental expenses in the discharge or operation of their duties without submitting receipts as allowed by the Federal Income Tax Act. It has been understood that in the carrying out of these duties, there are expenses that are not easily accountable and so an exemption has been given.”

Council heard that most Okanagan municipalities and regional districts addressed this change by increasing salaries.

However, Acton stressed that the removal of the salary tax exemption benefit is only one factor in the equation.

“We hope growth and adding CPI to the budget every year will keep us up,” Acton said. “Hopefully we won’t have to do a big hike again.”

Related: Raises proposed for Lake Country mayor and council

Related: Pay hike looming for new politicians

While increasing remuneration was before the previous council, Acton said that councillors opted to hold off until after the 2018 municipal election.

“I think that’s more fair. If you’re going to give yourself a raise, you should stick around to defend it,” he said.

Staff compared Lumby’s past remuneration to 13 communities of a similar size including 100 Mile House, Ashcroft, Burns Lake, Fort St. James, Fruitvale, Keremeos, Lions Bay, Logan Lake, Nakusp, Taylor, Tumbler Ridge, Enderby and Sicamous. Of the compared communities, Tumbler Ridge boasted the highest remuneration for mayors at $28,000 compared to Keremeos’ $10,841. Tumbler Ridge also has the highest salary for councillors at $18,000 compared to Fruitvale’s $6,355.

Lumby’s new remuneration took the average from all compared communities.


@VernonNews
parker.crook@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Vernon climate advocacy group protests against Tolko

Group to demonstrate outside company head office Monday over plan to log close to water supply

Grindrod Garlic Festival delights fans

Hundreds pack Grindrod Park for annual event with heavenly aroma

Vernon’s Vest finishes top-two at third straight golf event

Teen phenom drops playoff at MLT Odlum Brown Classic in Surrey

Lumby pedalling toward bike park

Village and partners hope to create bike park on village property in near future

UPDATED: Power has returned in parts of Greater Vernon

Crews restore power to more than 5,000 customers after noon-hour outage

QUIZ: How much do you remember about Woodstock?

Weekend music festival in Bethel, New York, was held 50 years ago

U16 B.C. fastpitch team named national champs

Girls went undefeated at national tournament in Calgary

Summerland’s downtown has gone through numerous changes

Main Street has been commercial hub of community for many years

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Mistake-riddled offence leads to first loss for Okanagan Sun

The Sun lost to the Westshore Rebels 16-13

Most Read