Five Abbotsford citizens will get the chance to determine how much the city pays its elected politicians.
Council voted Monday to establish a “Council Renumeration Citizen Task Force” that will determine how much of a raise, if any, elected city politicians will receive.
Council pay was previously addressed in 2007 by a citizens’ review, and then in 2011 by hired consultants. The last review saw the mayor’s salary set at $94,500, with councillors making $37,200 each year. That review suggested council and the mayor should receive raises to match the inflation rate over the following years. But after a modest pay bump in 2012 of $700 for the mayor and $300 for councillors, city politicians’ salaries haven’t budged since.
“Given that the most recent review considered by council was conducted in 2011 by consultants, it is suggested that a citizen review committee would be the appropriate method to undertake the next formal compensation policy review,” staff wrote in a report to council.
A comparison of politicians’ pay with those in 11 other similar-sized municipalities put Abbotsford’s mayor and council pay at eighth in that group.
The citizens’ review panel will include up to five volunteer voting members, who will be appointed by senior city staff.
The city is looking for members who have experience in areas such as business, law, human resources, community service or engagement, or managing a complex organization.
Deputy city manager Jake Rudolph said the city is looking for a diverse group, with at least one member with experience in each of those categories.
Rudolph said the review is expected to take place throughout the spring, with a recommendation delivered to the city over the summer.
The city will post information about how to apply to the panel on its website and in The News.