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Innisfail councillors vote for pay hike

Innisfail town councillors voted themselves a 41-per-cent raise recently.

Councillors will see their monthly base pay go to $1,300 from $920 a month.

Mayor Jim Romane’s salary will go up 16 per cent to $2,500 from $2,155.

Romane said the big pay hike is largely catch-up.

Council usually appoints a citizens committee to review council remuneration in an election year. But that didn’t happen last election. The last time council received a pay increase was 2009.

“So we were a few years behind and it makes it kind of look bad now. But that was the result of going through that (review) process,” said Romane.

“It was unfortunate it was left this long.”

Compensation was reviewed in similar-sized communities by the committee before it made its recommendation.

The committee actually recommended councillors get $1,500 a month, a 61-per-cent increase, but council opted for less.

Romane believes the compensation is fair, given the workload of four or five meetings a month, plus other public events council attends. The workload has been increasing, he added.

Council will also get a $100 per diem for half-day meetings and $200 for full-day meetings and a $60 meal allowance. Council is also reimbursed for travel expenses while on council business.

Local response to the pay increase has been mixed. But most support that some catching up was reasonable.

“Generally, I think it’s acceptable but nobody likes it 100 per cent without questioning it,” he said.

The increase will cost the town about another $30,000 annually.

 
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