Former Vernon Mayor Rob Sawatzky announces recommendations for salary increases for mayor and council at Monday’s regular meeting. (Roger Knox/Morning Star)

Former Vernon Mayor Rob Sawatzky announces recommendations for salary increases for mayor and council at Monday’s regular meeting. (Roger Knox/Morning Star)

Vernon council approves pay raise…for next term

Vernon mayor and councillor salaries will increase in November following committee recommendations

Vernon’s next council will get a pay hike.

Current council voted Monday to give a salary increase to the next council, effective Nov. 1, based on recommendations presented by a three-person council remuneration committee.

“The responsibilities of mayor and council are significant, complex and compensation programs should reflect that,” said former Vernon Mayor Rob Sawatzky, chairperson of the committee which also included VantageOne Credit Union CEO Glenn Benischek and 55+ BC Games president Wee Yee.

The mayor’s salary will rise from more than $72,000 to nearly $98,000, while the councillor’s pay will increase from nearly $25,000 to slightly more than $36,000.

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Mayor and council will also receive an 11 per cent remuneration increase on Jan. 1, 2019 as an adjustment for the loss of the non-taxable portion of the present remuneration.

Sawatzky said his committee reviewed the city’s remuneration policy, reports and available financial information on present City of Vernon mayor and council benefits. They also tried to compare Vernon to similar-sized cities but the information was inconsistent in quality, completeness and currency.

“It became apparent that the mayor’s role is a full-time position, plus additional evening and weekend duties in the community,” said Sawatzky, who served one three-year term as mayor from 2012-2014 before resigning, paving the way for Akbal Mund, who won the 2014 civic election.

“Councillor duties are less than the mayor, but when one considers committees and community involvement, they are significant.

“We concluded that council compensation should continue to be tied to the mayor’s compensation to ensure a link between the two important roles.”

Currently, council remuneration is 34 per cent of the mayor’s salary, below the average of comparator communities, which is 37 per cent. Vernon councillors will receive 37 per cent of the mayor’s wage effective Nov. 1.



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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