The RDEK is considering increasing board director renumeration as recommended by an independent panel that will return to the table for adoption in December.
Board chair Rob Gay said the RDEK recruits a panel of people who have either served as board member or an accountant to survey other regional districts across the province to look at their renumeration rates.
“What we try to do, as with any job, is we’ve got a mechanic, is the mechanic worth the same in Kimberley as in Bella Coola? So that’s what we try to do is get some fair comparables,” Gay said.
“For our case, what we were doing and I think our group was saying let’s try to level this playing field, so lets make sure an area director or municipal director in the East Kootenay is on par with other folks.”
A few recommendations included increasing the Electoral Area Director remuneration (currently $20,359) by $1,000 a year till 2019, while increasing municipal director renumeration (currently ($10,061) by only $500.
Gay said the municipal director renumeration was at $1,000, however, the board voted to decrease it to $500, as municipal directors usually live in an urban area and don’t have as much ground to cover as Electoral Area directors who serve rural communities.
The stipend for the chair’s position was bumped up $3,000 to $18,000 for the next three years, while the vice-chair was also given a newly introduced $3,000 stipend.
“We should allow a $3,000 stipend for the vice chair,” said Gay. “In the past there hasn’t been a stipend and I do support that as chair because I do involve Wendy in most things. I’m of the theory that if a bus drives over me, business has to go on, so Wendy attends most of the meetings I do and I always keep her briefed. “
Public hearing rates were also bumped up from $50 to $75 for the next three years.
In total, the increases to the renumeration budget tally roughly $137,268 over the next four years.
The tax hit, for a property assessed at $300,000 amounts to $0.34, $0.53, $0.73 and $0.92 from 2016-2019.
“Our whole salary package, because there’s not that many of us, isn’t that much of an impact, but it’s taxpayers money,” Gay said.