Vernon’s mayor declines salary raise

First-term mayor Rob Sawatzky receives support from Vernon council on his request not to be given a raise in 2012.

Vernon Mayor Rob Sawatzky has declined a pay raise that would see his salary raised to more than $66

Vernon Mayor Rob Sawatzky has declined a pay raise that would see his salary raised to more than $66

Vernon’s mayor is not getting a raise, and that’s just the way he wants it.

Council agreed Monday to a request from Mayor Rob Sawatzky that his salary not increase in 2012.

“It’s a symbolic gesture in support of citizens going through difficult economic times,” he said.

“We stand with the people.”

Prior to the Nov. 19 election, the previous council decided to increase the mayor’s salary from $63,466 to $66,266 in 2012 (one-third is a tax-free allowance).

“I see the work the mayor does and the abuse he takes,” said Jack Gilroy, a councillor at the time.

“He’s like the chairman of the board and he deserves more.”

However, Sawatzky, who won the Nov. 19 election, campaigned that he would refuse the raise.

I keep to my promises,” said Sawatzky on Monday.

Coun. Bob Spiers is pleased with Sawatzky’s actions.

“I voted against giving it in the first place so I think it’s an excellent decision,” said Spiers of reversing the increase.

Under present city policy, there will be no increase for the mayor in 2013. For 2014, there will be a hike equivalent to the compound sum of the consumer price index over the previous four years (if CPI is two per cent each year, that would lead to an 8.2 per cent increase in salary).

For councillors, the current annual salary of $20,473 (one-third tax-free) will continue in 2012 and 2013 but there will be an increase equivalent to the compounded sum of CPI over four years in 2014.