Council had recently instructed staff to do a comparison of its responsibilities and remuneration scale with other municipalities of similar-sized populations but on Thursday night it decided to take the effort a step further. This will be done by seeking the services of an independent third body to look at the job descriptions, duties and responsibilities of the mayor and council.
“I think it’s only great to have a third party opinion on this,” Mayor Bob Taylor said on Friday, of council’s decision. “And we don’t want to spend very much money.”
Staff is instructed to keep the study costs to about a “couple of thousand dollars,” he said, especially given that much of the research has already been done in-house.
“We’re demanding more of councils now,” Taylor said, of why the remuneration review is being held. “I know it’s a lot tougher then when I started 15 years ago.”
Colchester County’s mayor currently receives $39,204 per year while the deputy mayor receives $23,897. Councillors receive an annual stipend of $18,335.
By comparison, the mayor of Kings County receives $45,000, Lunenburg $43,988 and Pictou County $45,889 respectively, while councillors in those municipalities receive $28,000, $23,078 and $17,048 respectively.
Deputy mayors, in same order of appearance, receive $33,000, $30,791 and $22,228.
Colchester County council, which last voted itself a pay raise in 2006, also receives an annual cost of living increase of 3.8 per cent.
Taylor said Colchester County must keep pace with comparative municipalities if it is to attract qualified future candidates.
“We’re doing quite a bit,” he said.
On Twitter: @tdnharry