Pay increasing for Donnelly village councillors

Emily Plihal
Local Journalism
Initiative Reporter

Village of Donnelly will be increasing its compensation to councillors starting in the New Year.
CAO Matthew Ferris explains the Village has been struggling to fill its vacant council positions since the last municipal election. He proposed the increase in remuneration to be more inline with what other small municipalities in the province to try to attract new people to run.
“The Province flagged in our municipal indicators that we have a problem getting people to run for elected office, and the minister also flagged it in her recent letter regarding byelection,” says Ferris.
“Unfortunately, we can’t change the role of council, but we can review the compensation to ensure people are running for municipal office are at least making what they should when they need to take time off work to do things for the village,” he adds.
Each council in the province chooses how it will compensate councillors for time spent conducting municipal business. Donnelly has chosen to provide an honorarium which will compensate councillors their monthly duties.
“Some councils charge lump sum fees, others charge for every meeting including council and every event,” says Ferris.
“Donnelly has taken the approach that each elected official gets an honorarium and that covers the basics like any council meeting, community events and other minimum duties as an elected official.”
Remuneration will be increased dependent on position on council. The mayor will now be paid a $400 honorarium, deputy mayor and council will receive $250. Any meetings not covered by the honorarium will provide a $200 compensation for meetings under four hours, and $300 for meetings over four hours.
Council can also make an expense claim of up to $150 per month for incurred electronic expenses.
“Typically, there is one council meeting and an average of seven other meetings every quarter,” says Ferris.
“These meetings can range from one hour to seven hours, not including travel time.”
Ferris says it is important to ensure council members are compensated for extra time taken away from their families, work and other personal endeavours to complete village business.

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