No change in pay for regional district politicians

There will be no change in how North Okanagan Regional District politicians are compensated.

There will be no change in how North Okanagan Regional District politicians are compensated.

On Wednesday, directors reinforced the current policy which ties remuneration to the consumer price index (2.4 per cent).

A citizens’ review committee had recommended a two per cent increase in base pay for directors and a five per cent hike for the board chairperson and vice-chairperson in 2012.

“Now isn’t the time to given an additional increase beyond CPI,” said director Will Hansma.

“We have to recognize the economic circumstances many people out there are going through.”

It was never clear if the citizens’ committee’s recommendations would replace the current policy linking compensation to the consumer price index, or if it would be on top of CPI.

Director Wayne Lippert insists any increase beyond CPI would go against the 2011 budget process.

“Why would we work hard to keep taxes down for residents and then increase our remuneration and the tax burden?” he said.

Presently, the chairperson earns $1,215 a month while the vice-chairperson receives $134 every month. Annual remuneration for electoral area directors is $18,000 and $11,448 for municipal directors.

“We are fairly compensated. We aren’t here for the money, we’re here for the community,” said director Dee Wejr.