Vernon mayor believes council members are providing value

The 2012 annual report indicates a total of $198,109 was spent on remuneration and expenses for council

Mayor Rob Sawatzky defends council remuneration at Vernon city hall.

Mayor Rob Sawatzky defends council remuneration at Vernon city hall.

Vernon’s mayor insists residents are getting a good deal when it comes to elected representation.

The city’s 2012 annual report indicates $198,109 was spent on council remuneration and expenses.

“For the hours council puts in, most are very poorly paid,” said Mayor Rob Sawatzky of his colleagues attending meetings and spending hours reading documents and researching matters.

“I doubt they make $10 an hour.”

Coun. Mary-Jo O’Keefe received a salary of $21,844 while it was $20,611 for Coun. Juliette Cunningham and $20,474 each for Councillors Catherine Lord, Patrick Nicol, Bob Spiers and Brian Quiring.

Sawatzky would not discuss his own salary of $63,466 because he says any comments he made could come across as self-serving.

In terms of expenses, there was $5,816 for Sawatzky, $1,715 for Lord, $1,396 for O’Keefe and $1,367 for Cunningham. Nicol, Quiring and Spiers did not submit expenses for 2012.

“I just never have. It’s my contribution to the community,” said Nicol.

“Each individual (council member) gets to chose what they do. It (not submitting) feels right to me.”