Saanich council approves pay raise to keep pace with other municipalities

Councillors approved Tuesday an additional $666 per year for themselves, and an extra $1,738 for the mayor, retroactive to December 2010. The increases are just under two per cent from, and are based on the average pay of councillors in eight like-sized B.C. municipalities.

Mayor Frank Leonard’s salary will go from $87,280 to $89,019, while the eight councillors’ increase to $34,392 from $33,726.

The average is based on the pay in municipalities as large as Abbotsford (138,179 residents) where the mayor is paid $94,500 and councillors get $37,200, and as small as North Vancouver (82,562 people) where the mayor gets $93,838 and councillors, $38,261.

Kamloops, Kelowna and Nanaimo (similarly sized communities) pay their elected officials less.

Compared to 2005 figures, Mayor Frank Leonard makes 29.7 per cent more than he did ($68,616), while the councillors make 44.5 per cent more than they did ($23,342).

In comparison, the mayor of Victoria (83,362) has seen a 32 per cent spike since 2005, and 72 per cent jump for its councillors.

Saanich Coun. Vicki Sanders said the increase can be justified by councillors who “work very hard” and the fact their duties are becoming a nearly full-time job.

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