An independent working group has decided in favour of keeping remuneration for Sparwood’s Mayor and Council where it is and it will only take an annual increase equal to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), due to pay already being above average.
According to a staff report from Kristi Bilodeau, Director of Finance and Susan Mortimer, Deputy Director of Corporate Services, Sparwood’s mayor and council are already paid more than average for a community of its size.
Sparwood’s council member’s remuneration sits at $15,310, and $35,639 for the mayor. The report said that averages for communities with comparable population size surveyed by Sparwood are $14,616 for councillors and $33,773 paid to the mayor annually.
“There would be no pay increases except for an annual increase equal to what CPI is each year. So, if it’s 2% or 1% or whatever the case is, we’ll fall in line with that,” said Mayor David Wilks. “We feel much more comfortable having it out to an independent board that can look at it. That way it’s away from mayor and council and those people make the decisions and we’re happy with that.”
According to the report, Sparwood’s remuneration for its mayor sits above the 75th percentile for communities of comparable size or with a mining or heavy industrial tax base.
The staff report said that concerns have been expressed over precedent that could be set for staff and union wages if councillors’ remuneration increased.
Going into the future, the decision to keep Sparwood’s Mayor and Council pay consistent with the CPI will have a further review to be done in April of 2022.