Adjustments in spending allowances and other remuneration for city council members will add $29,800 to the annual budget.
Council voted on Monday (Aug. 28) to approve a staff recommendation that the expenditure limits be raised by $1,500 for the mayor and eight councillors.
This brings the mayor’s annual allowance from $7,000 to $8,500, while councillors’ spending limits increase from $6,000 to $7,500.
The money is used to cover accommodation, transportation, vehicle mileage and other allowable expenses.
A staff report to council states that the existing allowances “no longer adequately cover the associated costs for attendance at conferences and seminars.”
“The main contributors are increased costs related to travel, accommodations and conference registration fees,” the report states.
The report adds that attending such events provides “an opportunity for council to interact with fellow council members from other jurisdictions, develop relationships, create new partnerships and provide valuable learning opportunities around best practices and innovative ideas that council can bring back to the city.”
“These professional opportunities enable council to be more effective in their roles and provide best practice in good governance to the community.”
Another approved increase is additional remuneration – amounting to 10 per cent of the mayor’s salary – when a councillor serves as deputy mayor.
The mayor currently receives an annual salary of $139,000 while councillors are paid $55,600
An increase from $700 to $900 per month has also been approved for the mayor’s vehicle allowance. The amount has not been updated in several years, the staff report states.
The projected adjustments in the annual budget are broken down to an additional $13,900 for the deputy mayor’s remuneration, $13,500 for extra conference and travel allowances, and $2,400 for the mayor’s car allowance.