- BC Games
West Van council to get pay raise
Whether or not to give yourself a raise is never an easy thing to talk about, admits first-term Coun. Mary-Ann Booth.
But after a unanimous vote Monday night to increase the remuneration of mayor and council, Booth says she’s happy with how the delicate decision was handled.
Starting in April, West Van councillors will make $30,000 per year, up from $21,972. The mayor will make $75,000, up from $65,195. All receive a benefit package as well.
After the next municipal election — scheduled for Nov.15, 2014 — council will make $32,284 and the mayor will collect $80,710, plus their benefits.
“It definitely feels awkward but I’m pleased, I think we settled on a good number,” says Booth.
“And it’s going to be a stepped process.”
The increase in pay, adds Booth, also reflects the changing responsibilities of a city councillor. It’s a complex job, and to be prepared to make decisions on the issues facing one’s community, hours of prep time are required and positions on various committees and boards are part of the gig.
“I believe in always being educated on all issues,” said Booth.
“I always want to give time to that.”
Although not all were positive, Booth also praised the feedback gleaned from residents, many of which she says came from her 250-person email list.
Longtime Coun. Bill Soprovich echoed Booth’s sentiments, saying “the Monday night council meeting is one of several days to keep up.”
“But I still don’t believe it should be seen as a job,” adds Soprovich.
“It’s about a passion to provide service to the community.”
In comparison to the other North Shore municipalities, West Vancouver’s elected officials will still make less than their counterparts even after the raise. City of North Vancouver Mayor Darrell Mussatto earned $93,325 in 2011 and city councillors took home $32,284. District of North Vancouver Mayor Richard Walton made $93,838 and district councillors made $37,535.
In choosing the new salaries for West Van, an average was taken from the remuneration of mayor and council in both the city and district of North Van as well as New Westminster and Maple Ridge.
West Vancouver council will have the ability to review its remuneration every three years.