Council’s 20% pay raises ‘reasonable’: Kirkland mayor

Another article on the pay raise – by Albert Kramberger, The Gazette, 18 February 2014. You can read the entire text here.

The fact that the first noticeable decision of the new Mayor is about paying himself and his buddies 20% more is not a surprise, but the rationale for the hike given by the new Mayor is just – lovely. According to M. Gibson:

–          it is “well deserved”
Although we are yet to witness any promised improvement in the Council activities (e.g., more transparent voting results, minutes taken during the questions period), the Mayor thinks that it is time to get a raise, especially after he has resolutely abandoned the car allowance.

–          they are not paid extra for sitting on the subcommittees
Does that mean that now they WILL BE paid for sitting on the subcommittees? If the nature of work requires a lot of sitting, and that becomes a health hazard after decades of doing what they have been doing, they might need those special pillows. But could you perhaps buy some cheaper ones, available at Jean Coutu?

–          they will be dealing with upcoming rezoning issues and potential redevelopment projects
They will be? So you mean this is an advance payment? That’s a novel approach.

–          the new levels should be good for the next five to seven years,  “not including cost-of-living increases.”
Somewhat confusing… Should that mean that instead of voting for a reasonable 2% increase every year, the mayor decided to avoid these unpleasant comments and play it safe for the next seven years? That’s efficiency, exactly what we want to see in the Town Hall! But wait, could the “not including cost-of-living” clause mean that 2%-a-year increase will follow on top of the present 20%?

–          these new salary rates were determined after considering what fellow mayors and councillors were paid in neighbouring West Island cities.

There was a compilation of West Island’s municipal salaries in The Gazette. True, Dorval civil servants are paid better. But to beat them, we need to build an airport in Kirkland. Or you intend to get ahead just with the salaries first?

Overall, a whopping pay raise of 20% is a good sign: the Town budget is solid and the coffers are full. Would that mean that the Council will find the way to reimburse to the citizens 100% of the costs related to the cross connections, including legal costs incurred by some unwise citizens who had to be disciplined by the Council?

Way to go, M. Gibson! Indeed, it is time to increase the salary of village politicians: eventually it may attract competent people, and our investment will pay back.

Let’s make sure that we hear the answers from the Mayor’s mouth at the Council meetings – on Monday 24 February and 3 March. See you there!

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