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Richter calls for review

Pay increases should be linked to performance, councillor argues

Langley Township Councillor Kim Richter wants to take a closer look at council salaries.

The veteran councillor made a notice of motion at the end of the Jan. 16 council meeting, noting Township council members had just received a “generous” pay increase.

The motion was to be discussed at Monday’s  (Jan 23) meeting.

“Pay increases should be linked to performance. It shouldn’t just be automatic every three years,” Richter said.

She indicated the motion will ask Township staff for a detailed review of the council pay process that will take economic factors, among others, into consideration.

On Dec. 1, days before they were formally sworn into office, the mayor and eight councillors received an automatic pay increase. Mayor Jack Froese’s salary jumped by nearly $1,000 per month, rising to $105,456 from $93,724, while the salaries of Councillors David Davis, Grant Ward, Richter, Bob Long, Bev Dornan, Steve Ferguson, Charlie Fox and Michelle Sparrow rose by almost $7,000 a year to $42,936 from $36,043.

Since 2003, a councillor’s salary has more than doubled, and the mayor’s has risen by nearly 70 per cent.

Froese said last week that while he respects the decision of past councils, “That doesn’t mean we can’t take a second, third or even fourth look at something ... there may be a better way of doing it.”

Froese said he understands the issue of council salaries “has definitely been on the minds of some people,” but noted “it will be up to council to decide” whether anything will change.

He referred to a process that started in 2000, when a Remuneration Task Force was established to review and report on council’s remuneration.

There is some need to be competitive as well, Froese said, if the Township wants to attract good people to run for council.

“(Council salaries) should be competitive, yet fair,” he said.

“But everyone has different ideas on what ‘fair’ is.”

— with files from Natasha Jones