Salary Bumps: Renfrew County Council To Vote On Raises

How much of a raise should Renfrew County Councillors and the Warden get in 2019?

That's the question current County Councillors were sorting through yesterday, and they've settled on some recommendations.

They're recommending the councillor salary be raised from the current $10,612 to $13,796.

And, they're recommending the Warden's salary go up from the current $58,366 to between $63,000 and $65,000.

That's lower than the $75,876 salary that a panel studying the issue was recommending for the Warden.

The recommendations come as Ottawa cancels a tax benefit that politicians used to receive on one-third of their salaries.

Warden Jennifer Murphy says while it will be up to the newly sworn-in council to vote on the salaries in January, the recommendations do seem to strike a good balance.

Recent changes were made by the federal government to stop a one third tax free exemption on Councillors salaries and a Volunteer Council Remuneration Panel put forth suggestions on how to make up for the loss.

Warden, Jennifer Murphy, says with the current Council in a “lame duck” situation no official changes to salaries could be made but recommendations have been put together to be presented to the new Council that will take over in January…

"We felt the recommendation on the Warden’s salary was far too high", Murphy told Star 96.7 News.

"I think that the remuneration for the Warden is absolutely acceptable. I would have liked to have seen a little more for county councillors, they put in a lot of work, a lot of effort.”

County CAO Paul Moreau says it's an attempt to recognize what council contributes, while also acknowleding the loss of the tax benefit.

"Where they used to get a 1/3 tax exemption, as a bit of a benefit for all the stuff they do after hours and public meetings and things like that, Revenue Canada has pulled that, and so we really wanted to create a level playing field now that Revenue Canada has removed that piece”, Moreau said.

Because of recent municipal elections, six current members of County Council will no longer be at the table when the new session of Council is sworn in at the end of this year.

The salary recommendations are expected to be voted on in January.