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Didsbury's council compensation policy updated to include workshop pay

A municipal policy was made more clear recently as to what was claimable and what wasn’t by Town of Didsbury council members
MVT Bill Windsor
Coun. Bill Windsor was on the committee that was reviewing Town of Didsbury council compensation. File photo/MVP Staff

DIDSBURY - Council has approved an updated and streamlined council remuneration policy to clarify some areas that were determined to be unclear by a reviewing committee.

The move came by way of motion at the recent regularly scheduled council meeting, held in person and on YouTube.

The policy and governance committee recently reviewed and made recommended revisions to Council Remuneration Policy 004-22.

The section on the review council compensation now reads, “In the year of an election, council shall undertake a thorough review of this policy, and make any revisions they feel appropriate to take effect at the start of the next term.”

One update involves per diems, which now includes a section that reads, “In addition to the honorarium council members will be compensated for attendance at council workshops and council committee meetings.”

Coun. Bill Windsor was on the committee that reviewed the policy.

“Part of the thing that we are trying to do here and one of my major concerns when we were looking at this is to try to make it so that it was clear as to what was claimable and what wasn’t,” said Windsor. 

“This is also a living document. If we find that some things come up that this doesn’t address or isn’t clear enough, we will revisit it. It is something we can revisit as often as is needed in order to make it work the way it is supposed to work.”

The appendix A - Council Remuneration of the policy outlines remuneration type and frequency for 2022, which includes per month honorarium of $2,377 for the mayor, $1,410 for the deputy mayor, and $1,410 for councillors. The per hour per diem rate, to a maximum of $257 per day inclusive of travel time, is $37.60 for the mayor, deputy mayor and councillors.

Meanwhile, council also approved an update of the council professional development policy setting out the “need to have educated, informed and motivated council members.”

The updated policy statement now reads, in part, “Necessary training and development opportunities are required to ensure an innovative and skilled council who are responsible for the development of policies and bylaws that ensure the efficient and effective operation of the municipality.”

The policy defines professional development as “annual conventions, conferences, courses, seminars, workshops, orientation, and other training opportunities that are related to municipal governance.”

Under the policy administration will provide council with a list of professional development opportunities available in the coming year.

Nine principles are set out in the policy, including that, “Council supports the principal of fiscal responsibility by using standard accommodations, travel and timely registrations and cancellations. To this end, administration will book appropriate registrations, accommodations and travel.”

The updated policy also states that, “Council members are expected to report back to council on their professional development experiences, either written or verbally, at a council meeting, and the town is not responsible for expenses which are unrelated to the council member’s professional development activity, including the purchase of alcohol or expenses for spousal/partner attendance.”

The complete updated policies, which come into effect in August, are available for viewing on the town’s website.

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