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Pemberton raises salaries for mayor, councillors

Councillor says the job is not about the money



Village of Pemberton lawmakers voted to raise their wages at a council meeting on Tuesday morning (Jan. 18).

In a move that was called a "housekeeping item" and was supposed to be approved last year, council voted unanimously to raise the salaries of both the mayor and councilors for the first time since 2005.

A report to the chief administrative officer from Lonny Miller, manager of administrative services, stated that council approved salary increases during budget deliberations in 2010.

Mayor Jordan Sturdy's salary goes from $17,832 per year to $25,000 per year. Councillors' salaries go from $6,623 per year to $12,500, established at 50 per cent of the mayor's salary.

The increases were also expected to include a cost of living increase of 1.9 per cent, valued at $1,425, but Councillor Ted Craddock clarified that council had already agreed to remove that for 2011 - the second year in a row that Pemberton lawmakers have decided against receiving more remuneration.

Asked whether they feel they're getting paid enough, Craddock said he doesn't think mayor and council are paid by the hour for their work.

"It's still a volunteer position for the community," he said.

"I've never done it for the money. You have to take into account what a community can afford and the amount of extra time you're willing to put into the community."

Councillor Susie Gimse, a full-time politician who also serves as director for Electoral Area C on the board of the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District, said it's a difficult task for lawmakers to deal with their own salaries.

"The hardest task of any board or council is when it comes to dealing with (his or her) own compensation," she said.

"It's never easy to give ourselves a raise or an increase in remuneration when we know what that impact is at the end of the day to the taxpayer. So we're always trying to hold that line and it's a tough job."