Residents should take the time to look at the publicly available background material on (the remuneration review).
The recommendations of the Council Remuneration Committee were discarded in favor of supporting the view of one recent council member. This former councillor addressed council and advocated to hike the recommended salary increase. Most Interestingly, this councillor also sat on the Remuneration Committee; however, they made it clear their views were personal, and not as a committee member.
No other members of the committee addressed council. Once discussion began, council did not deliberate on the need for more thorough discussion or public input on exceeding the recommended salary level of $70,000 in 2025. The salary recommendations included making the councillor position full time as a basis for justifying the salary increase. In the subsequent discussion, council chose to disregard the Remuneration Committee's recommendations.
I sat in the June 6th council discussion and found it disturbing to hear more than one councillor express surprise at the job demands and the impacts it was having on their personal lives. I was beyond being dumbfounded by these remarks as I fully expect anyone who engaged in municipal politics, and not having a more acute understanding of the job when they put in their nomination, would be a questionable choice for office.
At the very least, I believe council should have committed to making their salary adjustment intentions known, and sought feedback from the public. Council had options this past Tuesday; make a decision on the councillor position becoming full time, or leave it for the next 2025 council to accept and/or modify the salary recommendation of $70,000 per annum.
Given current inflation pressures, it would have been prudent to serve notice to the community on the salary adjustment and leave it to the electoral process for the 2025 municipal elections to influence the in-coming council's decision making.
Ken Crutchfield, St. Albert