The city’s Advisory Committee on Council Remuneration is proposing raises for mayor and city council in 2023 and 2024, and increased benefits, according to a report going to city council on Monday.
The committee - made up of Martin Taylor, Deborah Abraham, Ethan Anderson, Kyanna Coe and Solomon Kpeh – made the recommendation after a review of the compensation for mayors and councilors in eight similar-sized cities in B.C. (Langley, Delta, North Vancouver, Saanich, Victoria, Nanaimo, Kelowna and Kamloops)
“The Advisory Committee recommendations are aimed at ensuring that Mayor and Councillor remuneration is consistent with the average remuneration paid at the City’s peer municipalities, recognizes the important of equity and inclusion of all members of Council, and more adequately recognize the considerable contribution these individuals make to our community,” Taylor, who chaired the committee, wrote in his report to council.
Prince George’s compensation for mayor ranked fourth out of the nine cities, at $129,461 per year. Of the nine cities, Langley’s mayor was the best paid, earning $154,557 per year, while Kamloop’s mayor was the lowest paid at $107,004 per year. The average for the nine cities was $127,982 per year.
The committee is recommending that Prince George’s mayor receive a one per cent raise on Jan. 1, 2023 and again on Jan. 1, 2023. A one per cent raise would increase the mayor’s pay by $1,294.61 in 2023.
Prince George city council’s ranked last among the nine cities, receiving only $37,908. Delta’s city councillors were the highest paid, taking home $62,788 per year. The average of the nine cities was $49,590 per year.
The committee is recommending that councilors receive a 3.5 per cent raise on Jan. 1, 2023 and again on Jan. 1, 2024. A 3.5 per cent raise would result in a $1,326.78 increase per year for councillors in 2023.
In addition, the committee is recommending that starting on Jan. 1, 2023 that the city pays 50 per cent of the extended health and dental benefit premiums for councillors who opt into the group benefit program and reimburse councillors up to $40 per day or babysitting or childminding costs incurred by council members while attending a council or committee meeting, event or official function.
In addition, the committee is recommending that city councillors receive a $250 per month vehicle allowance for the use of their personal vehicle to discharge their duties, like the mayor.
“The Committee predicated its recommendations on the premise that serving on Council is primarily public service, and that remuneration, expense allowances and benefits be reasonable and be consistent with public expectation while taking into consideration cost of living and the municipal demographics and geographic location,” Taylor wrote.