Review of compensation for member$ of Council & Park Board: $ome reference$ for discussions

city-council-2014-large

Vancouver City Council, 2014 to 2018. Photo: CoV

In a Regular Council meeting on February 3, 2015, Councillor Geoff Meggs will present this motion: “Review of Compensation for Members of Council and Park Board.”

Vancouver Park Board Commissioners 2014-2018. Photo: CoV

Vancouver Park Board Commissioners 2014-2018. Photo: CoV

Below we copy the text of his motion, plus links to previous posts by CityHallWatch regarding remuneration for City officials in Vancouver — including not only their salaries but also all the extra amounts from serving in various roles and capacities, such as on the board of Metro Vancouver (GVRD). Those extra amounts can be substantial. And starting this time the terms of office are four years.

Certainly, City Council and Park Board Commissioners should get paid a fair price in today’s world. But everyone needs to remember — there is only one wallet paying them: the taxpayer.Dollar signs, CHW

Also, in the private sector, when there is talk about a pay raise, it often comes with a performance appraisal. Elected officials are to be thanked for their dedication and public service. One of the biggest jobs of City Hall is to manage the public finances of the municipality. In Vancouver, the operating budget is about billion dollars a year. How are they doing? People need to ask questions when they start to hear about things like millions of dollars that may have been lost in deals like at 508 Helmcken (“Did City get a ‘bad deal’ in secret land swap? Public lost $44.6 million in one deal?“). One might say that the election is the performance appraisal. But as we have written elsewhere, we’re not too convinced about the 2014 election.

Previous coverage by CityHallWatch:

City Council salaries and expenses:
http://vancouver.ca/your-government/city-council-salaries-expenses.aspx

Council member salaries in 2014: Councillors’ salaries are based on the average earning of Vancouver residents who are employed full-time, using census data for Vancouver. Salaries are adjusted annually and on the interim census years. All of this salary is taxable. Council expenses: Council expenses consist of two components: A local expense budget, and an annual travel and training expense budget.

  • Mayor salary: $154,347 per year
  • Councillor salary: $67,994 per year
  • Deputy Mayor salary: $2,830 per month served

Park Board salaries and expenses:
http://vancouver.ca/your-government/park-board-salaries-expenses-and-financial-disclosure.aspx

Commissioner salaries: The stipend for the Commissioners is taxable. Park Board expenses: The expense allowance is in lieu of reimbursement for receipted expenses and is non-taxable.

  • Chair (salary): $10,000 per year. (Expenses $5,000.)
  • Board Member (salary): $8,000 per year. (Expenses $4,000)

*********

Text of motion

PDF: http://former.vancouver.ca/ctyclerk/cclerk/20150203/documents/motionb3.pdf

MOTION ON NOTICE (for Regular Council, 3-Jan-2015)

  1. Review of Compensation for Members of Council and Park Board

MOVER: Councillor Meggs
SECONDER: Councillor Stevenson

WHEREAS

  1. Council decided on December 8, 2014, to change the allocation of Council duties in response to the evolving and increasing responsibilities expected of Council members;
    [CHW note: This was the Mayor’s own idea….]
  2. The new structure approved by Council includes, for the first time, the full-time appointment of a Deputy Mayor and an Acting Mayor, as well as a roster of Councillors to represent Council in a protocol role;
    [CHW note: This too was the Mayor’s own idea, and he gave the plum posts to members of his own party]
  3. The Vancouver Charter mandates Council to establish compensation for Park Board Commissioners;
  4. Questions of compensation for Councillors and Park Board Commissioners, as well as the resources necessary for them to perform their duties, have historically been based on the recommendations of an independent review;
  5. The workload for Councillors’ and Park Board Commissioners has been significantly increased by the rising volume of citizen’s e-mails and phone calls, each meriting prompt and full reply;
  6. The methodology used in the By-law for calculating Councillor salaries is no longer valid as a result of changes to the Long Form Census;
  7. There has been no review of these matters since 1995 for Councillors and 1993 for Park Board Commissioners.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT Council direct staff to recommend an independent, qualified individual and an appropriate budget, which includes the capacity for related research, to conduct a review of Council compensation and resources, with a goal of reporting back to Council by June 30, 2015, including recommendations for:

  1. Changes to the current formula for calculating wages and benefits for Councillors and Park Board Commissioners, if appropriate, taking into account best practices in other jurisdictions of similar size as well as relevant benchmarks for comparison;
  2. Appropriate additional compensation for the Deputy Mayor and Acting Mayor in view of the change in duties contemplated by Council, as well as for the duty Councillor on call; and
  3. Changes, if required, to the resources available to Councillors, including staff, to ensure Councillors are able to respond to citizens’ needs in an appropriate and timely way.

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