Nelson Council to Write to Regional District on Stipend Increases

Nelson-City-Hall

Nelson City Council is writing to the Regional District hoping to better understand raises recently approved for members of the RDCK. The discussion was brought up at Nelson City Council’s October 12th Regular Meeting by Councillor Jesse Woodward, citing poor timing amid the pandemic.

Councillor and Nelson RDCK Director Janice Morrison explains:

“It varies…. One is the Resource Recovery Chair stipend increase from $286 to $397, so over $100…. There has been some general lift in the stipends for the Chair, Vice Chair and…. Rural Affairs Chair. As is sort of standard policy, the base stipend increases at the first of the year based on CPI, somewhat similar to our City Council stipend that also increases yearly but we did take a year where we didn’t have the increase during COVID.”

Councillor Page wondered if the boost could be due to CRA tax changes that mean a third of remunerations are no longer tax free. Councillor Morrison explains the base rate being raised should already make up for that change:

“The base was raised initially; right away, both here at the City and at the Regional District so this is sort of that sub-section of meetings that suddenly have all…. That also are subject to CPI increase every year….”

“So the Regional District gets an inflation-indexed adjustment, so based on the CPI, so that’s happening already, so a 33% increase. Are we asking for them to explain that? Or do we have some idea of why they’re looking for such a big increase. 33% in one year seems really dramatic….” says Councillor Rik Logtenberg.

“I think primarily for me it was the idea that it wasn’t just an inflationary increase, it was quite a large jump, and I know here at the City there’s this constant struggle to try to keep the costs to a minimum for our tax payer base….. I don’t understand what’s happening at the RD…. so I think just a letter to explain what’s happening.” adds Councillor Woodward.

Council hopes to hear how remuneration was compared with other Regional Districts such as the RDKB and RDEK. The Bounce Radio Newsroom will have more to follow.