HARRISON – If councillors were paid on merit, they might owe us money

council-wide-croppedAT THER RISK of needlessly dragging old skeletons from the closet, recall the wine and cheese arguments about how hard Kamloops councillors work.

harrisonhed-sep2016It was Donovan Cavers who argued he was killing himself working 24 hours a day to make ends meet and serve on council, while Tina Lange, paraphrased was suggesting if we counted up the hours, she was paid peanuts as a councillor.

This was all part of the logic and rationale for hiking the pay levels of Kamloops councillors this term, not by a little, but by a lot.

Council members would see their paycheques gradually increase to 40 percent of what the mayor was getting by next year, to a handsome $34,301. Is the taxpayer getting full value?

This group had exactly five formal council meetings from July to the end of September. Granted, this doesn’t include the odd committee meeting, interaction with taxpayers, or attendance of any anti Ajax letter writing workshops. They also skipped council meetings in February, March, June, and this month for holidays and of course there was spring break.

This extra cash they’re banking might be worthwhile if they’d accomplished anything more meaningful in the past two years, beyond banning the cosmetic use of pesticides, or allowing chickens to fertilize a few back yards. It doesn’t sound like this group is giving the taxpayer much bang for the buck, let alone working their little fingers to the bone.

Considering they’ll be in office another two years cashing increasingly bigger paycheques, maybe it might be time to reconsider the way this group of elected officials is paid. Perhaps a system of merit pay, though they might end up owing us money.

Listen to Jim Harrison’s editorials weekdays on Radio NL, and to the Jim Harrison Show at 9:08 a.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact him at

About Mel Rothenburger (9238 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

5 Comments on HARRISON – If councillors were paid on merit, they might owe us money

  1. This council is completely out to lunch! The industrial rate is far to high and council is out of touch with what it takes to keep jobs at home. The count down is on!

  2. Well said as usual Jim!

  3. Great leadership, and he wants to step up to the Provincial level ?

  4. The time that you see council members at the table should only be a small portion of their job. Kinda like radio – the time the person is on the air is a small part of the job of news reporting/writing. You should know that, Mr Harrison.

  5. Right on, Jim. If we look at each and everyone of them and their contributions to the betterment of the city we, the citizenry, have much reasons to be upset.
    Just the other day the manager at Lafarge spoke about the industrial mill rate in complete opposite terms to Milobar and Christian. Are they that much out to lunch?

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