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Didsbury council compensation reductions under consideration

If approved, changes would come into effect following October's municipal election

DIDSBURY — Town councillors reviewed during last week’s council meeting proposed mayor and councillor remuneration changes recommended by the compensation committee.

If the changes are eventually accepted by council motion, they would come into effect following the Oct. 18 municipal election.

Made up of public members Brad Blatz, Gail Nowlan and Brian Wittal, the committee presented its latest findings and recommendations during the April 13 council meeting. 

At the time, council requested further information on hourly rates and had the matter brought back to last week’s meeting.

In its work, the committee used a comparative spreadsheet supplied by administration for the review process, looked at the current economic situation in the community and province, and at town of Didsbury staff salaries compared with comparable communities.

During the June 8 council meeting, Wittal said the committee is now recommending that the per diem hourly rate for councillors be set at $36.50 to keep it in line with the 60th percentile range of comparable communities. 

The current rate is $42.75 an hour. The committee is recommending that the maximum daily rate remain unchanged at $250.

The committee is also recommending that the mayor’s compensation be reduced by $300 per month to $2,308 per month, from the current allotment of $2,608.

A reduction of this level would show prudent leadership and keep Didsbury at the 60th percentile to comparable communities and in line with current expectations that council has for staff salaries against comparable communities, the committee said.

Another change would see councillor pay reduced by $65 per month to $1,369 per month from the current $1,434.44.

That reduction would also keep Didsbury at the 60th percentile to comparable communities, the committee said. 

As well, the deputy mayor position would receive councillor remuneration and then be paid an additional $50 per meeting, seminar or function when the deputy mayor attends where he or she is stepping in for the mayor at the town’s representative.

Councillors passed a motion referring the suggested changes to the Strategic Planning Committee for incorporation into the council remuneration policy.

Dan Singleton

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