Council could get raises based on policy 

Human Resources Committee to review and return to council

The job of a Whistler councillor could be getting a little more lucrative on the eve of another election.

According to the council remuneration policy, councillors are due a $5,000 raise each, to keep it on the average of the six Metro Vancouver municipalities currently used to establish employee compensation.

But before it decides that, the policy will be going to the municipality human resources committee for review.

Councillor Ralph Forsyth voted against that plan, pointing out the reasons why the policy was developed in the first place two terms ago.

"It was good policy then, it's good policy now," he said.

It calls for a review of council's pay every three years during the last term of each council, comparing them to the six Lower Mainland communities. On the low end, councillors in West Vancouver make just over $23,000. On the high end are the councillors in New Westminster, making more than $45,600. Whistler is supposed to be the average.

"It took a lot of courage," said Forsyth, of implementing the policy. "And there was surprisingly little backlash. I expect there will be an enormous, soul crushing amount of backlash if we do it now."

Councillor Eckhard Zeidler said the reason for developing the policy was to put the decision on "automatic pilot" but he said there's a fatal flaw in the automatic pilot.

The councillor raise, which would see their annual salaries jump from $31,437 to $36,192 effectively amounts to a 15 per cent increase.

"There's something wrong with what we're comparing ourselves too," said Zeidler.

The mayor's salary, based on this same policy, would only increase nominally from $87,633 to $87,916.

The human resources committee is expected to meet this month and bring a report back to council.





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