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TAYLOR, B.C. – The District of Taylor has held off on approving an increase in the District mayor’s remuneration by $20,000 per year.

In a report presented at Tuesday’s Committee of the Whole meeting, the District’s Director of Financial Services Michael McPhail recommended that Council approve increasing the mayor’s yearly remuneration from the current $23,868 to $28,000, along with an additional per diem of $300 for all meetings that take place outside the District.

McPhail said that the increase in the District mayor’s remuneration reflects the demands of the position, explaining that between May 2017 and April of this year, current mayor Rob Fraser has devoted 1,600 hours to his mayoral duties.

By comparison, someone working a 40-hour work week full-time, taking off three weeks’ annual vacation and stat holidays and not including overtime, works 1,864 hours in a year.

McPhail also recommended keeping the salary of councillors the same but adding a $200 outside meeting per diem.

Councillor Betty Ponto explained that Taylor Council had brought up the issue of council members’ salaries over a year ago, when Council passed a resolution to have mayor Rob Fraser begin tracking the hours he was spending on mayoral duties.

Mayor Fraser said that while he had not brought the issue forward, he felt that more clarification was needed on what constituted an outside meeting, and also for there to be a graduated scale of remuneration for attending meetings outside the District.

Councillor Brent Taillefer agreed with the need for clarification, but expressed concern that District residents had not been given the opportunity to give feedback on the proposed pay rate increase.

Councillor Taillefer also voiced concern about the $100 difference in per diem rate for the mayor and councillors, explaining that though the two roles were different, council members attending outside meetings would be performing the same duties and should be paid the same.

Coucnil did say, however, that the per diems for attending outside meetings would need to be approved by Council prior to a member attending those meetings.

In the end, council asked staff to better clarify what would constitute and outside meeting, to develop a more graduated scale on per diem amounts, and to gather feedback from residents before bringing those new recommendations forward.

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