Council to wait for report before making pay decision

Although Mission's mayor and council are paid less than comparable municipalities, no decision yet on raises.

Council voted 4-3 to defer a decision about salaries for mayor and councillors, pending a more comprehensive report on surrounding municipalities.

The new report, expected to come back Oct. 17, will use the same “comparable” municipalities as the ones used in the 2008 remuneration report, and include population and individual salaries for each municipality.

Three councillors voted against deferral and the new report, concerned about the optics of fiddling with salaries in an election year.

“This is not the time to be doing anything with remunerations,” said Coun. Mike Scudder, adding that he felt councillors are already “in line with where we should be.”

The report presented on Monday showed the average salary of 12 comparables: Chilliwack, Maple Ridge, Township of Langley, New Westminster, Vernon, District of North Cowichan, Port Moody, Abbotsford, White Rock, Port Coquitlam, North Vancouver, and Campbell River.

The average salary for mayor in these communities is $85,000, or $20,504 greater than Mission, while the average salary for councillors in these communities is $36,800, or $14,482 more than in this district.

But Coun. Paul Horn, who led the motion for deferral, said there have been few increases to salaries in the past three years which makes it unfair and unpopular for the next council playing catchup.

Scudder disagreed that waiting until 2012 would have any significant bearing on a widening disparity between Mission and comparable communities.