A corrected staff report has come back to council indicating that salaries for the mayor and council of Mission are not significantly smaller than comparable communities.
The previous remuneration report indicated the average mayor in these communities earn over $20,000 greater than Mission’s mayor, while councillors in these communities earn over $14,000 greater than Mission councillors.
But that report did not follow the same list of municipalities used in the 2007 remuneration review.
As it turns out, Mission’s mayor is only $585 behind the average, while councillors are only $2,556 behind.
Because the economy is still depressed, freezing council salaries is prudent, said Mayor James Atebe.
Council voted to freeze any increase in 2012 and let the next elected council decide whether it wants to increase salaries in 2013 or wait until the next remuneration review in 2014. Some on council felt that was too long to wait.
“That’s five years with a councillor’s salary changing by $30,” said Coun. Paul Horn.
Coun. Heather Stewart approved of a freeze until 2013, but said she believes the mayor is “significantly underpaid” for his full-time position.
Coun. Mike Scudder, who originally led a motion to freeze salaries until 2014 before allowing a friendly amendment to let the next council decide, said a comparative study of other municipalities is inherently flawed, since swapping a city in or out of the list can greatly affect the averages.