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Well ahead of the 2018 municipal election, a Council Remuneration Committee made recommendations for changes to Owen Sound City Council members' pay effective January 1. Council approved these recommendations at their Council meeting Monday, July 31 with one councillor opposed. Councillor Scott Greig spoke against the increase for Councillors, suggesting that a cost of living increase would be sufficient.
Full report as follows: 

   This Committee established guiding principles to provide a framework for recommendations and to ensure that recommendations were reasonable and would aid in moving the City forward.
Guiding Principles: Council remuneration must:
1.Create an environment which attracts talented candidates with sound leadership skills and a willingness to contribute to the community; and
2.Be at a level that does not have a negative impact on family income or be abarrier to running for Council.
With these Guiding Principles the committee affirmed the revised Terms of Reference.

Recommendations:
The Council Remuneration Committee recommends to City Council that:

Recommendation No. 1
1.Effective January 1, 2018;
a.The Councillor's remuneration be $21,634.73 per year;
b.The Deputy Mayor's remuneration be $24,879.93 per year whichis 15% more than the Councillor's base remuneration inaccordance with Resolution No. R-160321-017;
c.The Mayor's remuneration be $48, 158.59; and
2.Future Adjustments to the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Councillorremuneration be no less than the Non-Union wage increase and that these increases not be deferred at budget time.
Recommendation No. 2
That the Council Remuneration Committee recommends to Council that the next Council Remuneration Committee reconvene midway through the next Council term.


The Council Remuneration Committee studied material from other municipalities in Grey County as well as "comparator" municipalities outside of Grey County; previous City of Owen Sound Council Remuneration Final Reports;
The Committee used Brockville, Collingwood, Meaford, Orangeville, Orillia, and Stratford as Benchmark salary levels.Screen Shot 2017-07-29 at 3.01.46 PM
The Committee felt that the current remuneration paid to Council members does not align with the Guiding Principles as established by the committee and does not meet the stated Terms of Reference in that it currently is not fair compensation for the duties.
The current levels of remuneration for the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Council are still lagging behind based on the municipalities that were used as Benchmarks. The Committee felt that this gap in remuneration rates was a legacy issue stemming from a period where Council remuneration rates had not increased for a number of years.
The Committee understands Council is showing leadership during budget deliberations when they forego an increase in their own remuneration. However, that leads to the current situation where the Mayor and Council are not being fairly compensated for their responsibilities; and the compensation may not be sufficient to attract talented and committed individuals to serve.
The Committee strongly recommends that future adjustments of the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Council remuneration be no less than the Non Union staff adjustments and that these adjustments not be deferred at budget time.
The Committee reviewed the changes based on the recommendations from the 2014 Remuneration Committee with regards to ending per diems for attending City Committee meetings. After reviewing the numerous committee meetings that Council sit on and the attendance records for each, the Committee agreed that this change worked well and the Committee recognized the significant time commitment that each member of Council spends on the various City Committees in addition to the regular Council Meetings.
The attached Table summarizes the remuneration paid to the Mayor and Council for Brockville, Collingwood, Meaford, Orangeville, Orillia, Stratford and Owen Sound.
Council is no different from the hundreds of volunteers that support our City in and of the fact that each council seat is filled by a citizen of Owen Sound who at some point recognized a need in the City and had a notion that they could make a difference. That notion of being able to make a difference started by voluntarily allowing their name to run for a public office. The passing of this recommendation will aid in strengthening our community by helping to create an environment which attracts talent while not negatively impacting the family income of persons holding this public office.

source: agenda, Owen Sound City Council, July 31, 2017

 

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