Committee set to review salaries and benefits of Nenshi and his fellow councillors
CALGARY -- While many Calgarians have been forced to take pay cuts over the past couple of recessionary years, what members of council get paid is now up for debate.
The five person council compensation review committee, chaired by Scarlett Crockatt met for a second time Tuesday., to examine council's salaries, pensions and benefits in relation to councillors and mayors across the country.
That came as welcome news to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.
"We neeed to see cuts to the golden compensation for our mayor and for our councillors," said the federation's Alberta director, Franco Terrazano.
"I mean, Calgary mayor Nenshi is the only mayor of a major Canadian city who is eligible for two pensions."
Calgary city councillors each make $113,325.63 annually, while the mayor’s salary is set at $200,586.40 as of Jan. 1.
When comparing major Canadian cities, Calgary's mayor sits second in both the province and country, earning around $5000 less than his Edmonton counterpart, Don Iveson.
Calgary's city councillor salaries place them around the middle of the pack.
The mayor said politicians should not have any say over whether their compensation gets increased or decreased.
"Because it gets political, and when it gets political, it gets harder to attract people to office," Nenshi said.
Three councillors proposed a notice of motion calling for a five per cent cut in wages. That trio included Sean Chu.
"I think that's very important because as council, we have to set the tone and we're leaders in the city," Chu said.
"We have to show the people, the thousands that lost jobs, that we actually listen to them and we care."
In 2017, the panel recommended to council that the mayor's salary be slashed, something council voted in favour of.
Ross McDougall co-chairs the committee, while Paula Breeze, Doris Hall and Evie Zhao make up the rest of it. The panel plans to meet monthly and are expected to present their recommendations to council by the end of the year.