Adelaide Metcalfe council votes for pay raise

·3 min read

Most small municipal mayors and councils do not get huge paycheques. A consultant’s analysis showed Adelaide Metcalfe’s elected representatives get a lot less than most.

When compared to eight other smaller municipal renumeration rates for mayors and councillors, Adelaide Metcalfe is 29.3 percent below the median pay for mayor, and 60.1 percent below for councillors. The deputy mayor was also low, but that position was eliminated by council starting next term.

To get to the middle of the pack, the mayor’s salary would need to go up from its current $16,813 to $21,744. Councillor pay would need to go up from $8,932 to $14,302.

Per diem rates are $150 for full-day workshops and mandatory training, plus top-ups for attending outside boards and committee meetings to make sure they got $150 per day.

Council got iPads and the mayor’s cell phone charges were covered.

Mileage went up this February to 61 cents for the first 5,000 km and 55 cents per km after that.

Travel, meal and accommodations are reimbursed for council-related business. They do not get a group benefits plan.

Voting to give themselves raises is always tricky business for council, which is why ML Consulting’s Marianne Love was hired. She recommending raising pay to the median.

“Council renumeration is always a tough topic for any council. During our organizational review in 2020 we uncovered that there was various compensation programs in use by the Township, all of which really needed a review and consideration for potential change. We did go through the staff compensation review in 2020. We will be working through the volunteer fire service compensation review this year,” explained CAO Morgan Calvert at the April 19 council meeting.

“I did also want to mention that although the Township is a fairly small township in population, we still have the same responsibilities and mandated core services as medium or larger municipalities,” he added.

The municipalities chosen for comparison were selected because of similarities in history, geography, services, population and operating budget size. They included Dutton Dunwich, Zorra, Southwold, Plympton Wyoming, Thames Centre, Luccan Biddulph, Southwest Middlesex and North Middlesex.

All of these municipalities have larger populations. According to Statistics Canada, in 2021 Adelaide Metcalfe had 3,011 residents. The closest in the comparison is Dutton Dunwich at 4,152. The largest difference was with Zorra, which had 8,628 residents and pays its mayor $30,502.

Two percent was added to their 2021 pay to update comparisons for this year.

Love also recommends one pay review each last year of council’s term to avoid jumps in pay, with any adjustments going into effect the first year of the next council.

Compensation was last looked at 2019 after the one-third tax exemption was removed.

Council unanimously passed the raise in principal. A bylaw still needs to be passed at the May 2 council meeting for final approval, coincidently the first day people can put their names in for this fall’s municipal elections.

The raise would go into effect Jan. 1 of next year. The budget impact for 2023 would be about $25,000, according to treasurer Johnny Pereira.

Chris Gareau, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Middlesex Banner

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