UPDATE: Esquimalt mayor’s pay boosted by 41%

Pay hike takes effect on Jan. 1

Esquimalt council has given the green light to raising the next mayor’s pay by 41 per cent – and councillors pay by 25 per cent.

The pay raise kicks in Jan. 1 – almost two months after the municipal election.

Despite Coun. Bruce McIldoon’s opposing vote, council finalized changes to the township’s council remuneration bylaw at Monday night’s council meeting, allowing the next mayor’s salary to climb $10,100, from $24,500 to $34,600. Each councillor will see their pay increase by $2,842, from $11,043 to $13,885.

The changes were made based on a remuneration review conducted by a committee struck by council last year.

The committee found that a wage increase better reflects the workload that residents expect mayor and council to take on, among other reasons.

Not only has the workload increased, “you need to be able to recruit good people for mayor and council roles,” said Mayor Barb Desjardins.

The topic of council wages – often considered a political hot potato – was last touched a decade ago. That prompted council to ask staff for options on implementing a regular council remuneration review in future.

“(The review) takes it out of the political forum or perceived political forum that council thinks it (or future councils) needs a raise,” Desjardins said.

In keeping with current practices, the new salaries will be adjusted every Jan. 1, beginning in 2013, to reflect changes in the Victoria consumer price index, which is published annually by Statistics Canada.