Mayor gets raise after election
Okotoks: Town councillors salaries will remain the same
By: Don Patterson
| Posted: Wednesday, Sep 18, 2013 06:00 am
Whoever wins the mayor’s race in Okotoks will get a raise once they take office after next month’s municipal election.
The mayor’s salary will increase two per cent to $73,942 per year, one-third of which is tax-free. Councillors will not see any changes to their salary of $38,213 per year, with one-third tax-free.
The mayor’s salary increase will take effect on Oct. 28, the date of the first council meeting after the Oct. 21 election.
Mayor Bill Robertson said pay increases for councillors normally come into effect on July 1, the same time as other Town employees. However, he said it was appropriate to put a hold on any increases for council until after the election.
“I was the one that said I don’t think this should take affect until after the election,” he said
The increase was unanimously approved after a closed-door session late in the evening at council’s Aug. 19 meeting and came to light when the meeting’s minutes were released at council’s Sept. 9 meeting.
The mayor’s position is full-time, while councillors are considered part-time.
Councillors can also receive up to $200 per day to cover lost wages from other employment when required to attend meetings. Councillors and the mayor are also eligible to receive benefits and have work-related expenses covered.
Not only did councillors not get an increase this year, they approved a slight pay cut last year.
Coun. Matt Rockley said he supports giving the mayor a raise and leaving council pay where it is.
Salaries for mayor and councillors are reviewed annually and compared to similar municipalities to ensure pay in Okotoks is within the range of others in comparable towns and cities.
Rockley, who chairs the Town’s corporate compensation committee, said the mayor’s salary is in-line with other municipalities, while Okotoks’ councillors’ earnings are above average.
After last year’s cut, he said it was felt councillors’ pay didn’t been to be cut any further.