It 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 email@example.com.