Does your mayor and council deserve a raise?

Independent citizens committee asked to make a recommendation

Being mayor of Ladysmith earned Rob Hutchins $24,172 in 2014. Members of his council earned $12,470.

The question facing new mayor Aaron Stone and his team is how much to pay themselves in 2015 and beyond.

Their answer is to strike a public committee of three regular citizens and ask them to make a recommendation.

Staff reviewed 10 similarly sized B.C. municipalities to Ladysmith and discovered local rates were below the average stipends of $31,850 for mayors and $$13,602 for councillors.The highest-paid mayor gets $45,173 from the City of Nelson (population 10,230), the lowest $20,320 from the District of Sooke (9,704)

Ladysmith last tackled the issue of council remuneration in 2011 when it decided on raises from $20,677 (mayor) and $9,466 (council) phased in over a three-year period, with a planned review scheduled for this year.

The current council is giving the new committee the mandate of making a recommendation for a four-year period, given the fact councillors are now elected to a four-year term.

City manager Ruth Malli said the committee has been chosen and is expected to have its first meeting soon.

Nanaimo Airport CEO Mike Hooper, former councillor Jan Christensen, and regular city hall observer Renee Hutchinson will join Councillor Rob Hutchins on the committee.