Second Public Meeting On Council Pay Poorly Attended

The second and possibly final public meeting on a salary increase for Windsor's mayor and councillors is a wrap.

More people made it out to Thursday night's meeting, but it's not hard to beat zero, that's how many people showed up for the first meeting Wednesday morning. Ten residents attended the meeting at city hall asking questions that gravitated around a lack of information to give input on.

Council last received a 1.9% raise back in 2005. With changes to Canada Revenue Agency's Tax Free Allowance resulting in the mayor and council getting less take-home pay, the committee is looking into a possible pay increase to shore up lost income.

Ward 10 resident Mohamed Chams tells AM800 News it's hard to give input when what work is being done councillors for their pay and information that's already been gathered isn't being presented to the public.

"It's a difficult job, I don't want to talk it down, but how are we really gathering that information and how accurate is it going to be so we can determine whether the increase is going to be a good increase or not," he says.

As a business owner Chams says a blanket raise might not be appropriate — he'd like to see councillors evaluated individually based on performance.

"Based on calls being returned, did you really put that effort into my area? You didn't," says Chams. "So if you ask me today, am I going to give that particular Ward 10 Councillor Paul Borelli a raise? I would say absolutely not."

Council Compensation Review Committee Chair Toni Scislowski didn't dismiss calls for more information. She says the committee is waiting on data from around 10 communities and when a plan is formed there could be a lot more to chime-in on.

"Okay, you've got all the information, you're going to make some recommendations, where's the public input at that point in time? I think that's something we'd really have to consider," she says.

Scislowski tells AM800 News the low public turnout doesn't encompass interest in the issue, more than 700 people have filled out an online survey already.

"We're getting data from different communities, we've talked to councillors and the mayor," says Scislowski. "Some people don't like to fill out surveys; some people would rather come and talk face to face."

Scislowski says the online survey will remain open as long as residents continue to submit feedback, but has to wrap up before the end of the month.