In a special Committee of Council meeting last night there was discussion of the suggestion from the Town administration that honorariums of Council members and the Mayor be increased -doubled over 3 years is what we heard . The Town administration proposed an increase to supposedly bring remuneration in line with other municipalities it had surveyed.
Reaction on the part of townspeople attending and some Council members was distinctly negative. No townspeople spoke in support of the increase. Opposition voices pointed out that the present Mayor and members had put their names forward on the basis of the present package and they should not be in the position of raising their own honorariums especially with taxes in the Town already very high. It was pointed out that the fire department had no shortage of volunteers for much less remuneration; would there be fewer volunteers to run for Council if honorariums were not increased?
To their credit several Councillors also spoke against the increase- they didn’t run for Council because of the money, there hadn’t been enough discussion. For example, do the municipalities which were used for comparison have a similar tax base?
In the end the Committee recommended that the increase in remuneration be held at “cost of living” and that a policy for remuneration levels be prepared which would apply to members coming on Council after the present term of office.
Surely this recommendation of the Committee of Council will not be ignored at the Council Meeting of April 18th?