Guelph’s next mayor will receive a 22 per cent base pay raise

Posted May 28, 2014

Guelph council voted to raise the base pay of the mayor by 22 per cent, starting in 2015. The base pay rises from $95,500 to $116, 226. The increase will be phased in over three years.

But it doesn’t stop there. There are additional income sources for serving on various boards, including the Police Services Board and the Public Health Board. These and other honorariums can add up to another $20,000. The Mayor will also receive a $425 per month car allowance.

The council approved setting up an RRSP plan for the mayor. On top of the 22 per cent base pay increase, the incoming Guelph mayor will have his or her own retirement benefit. The question is why should the citizens pay for a retirement benefit for a position that is short-lived because of the nature of having to be re-elected to keep the job?

The mayor is a fulltime mayor responsible for overseeing a $400 million plus corporation.

The new mayor’s total remuneration package could be $142,000 within three years.

Members of council will see their annual base pay increase to $33,433. There are additional payments made for serving as committee chairs and outside boards.

The members of council are considered part-time workers, a misnomer if there ever was one. They have a very heavy workload handling the concerns of their ward citizens as well as mounds of paper work generated by city staff.

The pay increases decision came as the result of a citizen’s committee who compared the status of elected officials’ compensation with some 18 other municipalities.

It is not revealed which municipalities they reviewed but let’s look at those similar- sized municipalities closer to home:

The mayor of Kitchener’s base salary is $75,475.

The mayor of Cambridge earns $68,467 as base salary.

The mayor of Waterloo is paid $70,145 as base salary.

All receive additional income from serving on various boards and organizations. All are part of the Region of Waterloo and are compensated for serving on the Regional council.

It is estimated that the average additional compensation for these three mayors is $20,000.

So who was appointed to this citizen’s board that made these recommendations? Or did city staff recommend he members of the citizen’s committee? Only the chairman addressed the council.

It’s no wonder council approved and passed legislation authorizing these increases.

The bottom line is, any committee appointed to make council payment recommendations must be totally independent. That means such a committee has absolutely no connection with the municipality, including the compensation industry professionals.

It is always a ticklish matter to establish rates of pay for elected officials who must answer to the electors.

This is why Guelph needs to elect fulltime members of council and pay them for their service. This would mean a reduction in the size of council from 13 to nine with the mayor and two councillors being elected at large and one councillor representing each ward.

This time it was not the route council chose to follow.

Now we see the result.





Filed under Between the Lines

6 responses to “Guelph’s next mayor will receive a 22 per cent base pay raise

  1. Jerry

    Hi Gerry
    Why is our mayor getting a bump in pay when the surrounding cities are well below this mark.Is our city bigger than kitchener,Waterloo and Cambridge?I think not.
    The people that sat on this committee need to wake up and give their head a shake.
    No where in the public sector will this be happening.So why is Guelph so
    In fact why is our mayor making more than the surrounding cities right now
    in her pay?.
    If you look at kitchener,Waterloo and Cambridge they are doing a lot better
    economically than Guelph is.Major investments are happening in Kitchener,
    Waterloo and Cambridge.So why is Guelph lagging behind?
    I personnel cannot wait to the fall for this election to happen.Change the way Guelph does business and watch investors rushing back to Guelph to
    do business.Create jobs and build our beautiful city back to glory she
    once had.

  2. joe Black

    425.00 for a car allowance the new Mayor should use transit or the bike lanes in the 30kph zones

  3. Milton Burns

    I believe that the $116,000 is that actual salary and does not take into account that the Mayor is entitled to one-third of salary being tax free. It is the equivalent of a taxpayer earning about $144,000. Both would end up with approximately the same after tax income. Throw in a car allowance and an expense account and its a nice life at the expense of others.

    • Boomer

      We need people to understand the mess we are in. Apathy prevails. Time to talk it up to EVERYONE how much change is needed.

  4. laura

    At council there was some discussion as to whether councillors and the mayor could claim the $425 per month car allowance. Ian Findlay admitted that he did not own a car. ? the Mayor does not own a car either? Gloria wanted parameters on how the expense money would be used because all councillors including the mayor can claim other transportation costs IN ADDITION to the $425 car allowance. for instance if they owned a car they would get the $425 per month but could also leave their car at home and expense a cab to where ever they were going. Karl Wettstein commented that “you could buy a pretty nice car for $425 a month” if you didn’t own a car.
    Question how many kilometers a month do councillors members with cars actually drive while doing council business? The CRA allows you to deduct between 48-57 cents off you income taxes for travel expenses. Even if you average 50 cents a kilometer council members would have to drive 800 kilometers a month to collect $400 of the car allowance. So how many kms do they drive a month? Did anyone on the compensation committee ask council members to keep track of their mileage before the $425 was approved?
    The council members and the Mayor should be taking the bus which they so like to promote instead of getting a car allowance.
    One final point how much dis the free parking at City hall worth? That should be added to their estimated salary increase as well.

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