Dysart council looks at councillor compensation

By Chad Ingram

Published Oct. 24 2017

The council for Dysart et al may soon be looking at a pay increase.

Reviewing remuneration for councillors was discussed during an Oct. 23 meeting.

While the municipality has the largest population of Haliburton County’s four lower-tier townships at approximately 6000 its councillors have the smallest pay cheques.

Councillor Dennis Casey noted there is a $3000 to $5000 gap between payment for Dysart councillors and their counterparts throughout the county.

Casey said he thought salaries should be brought in line with those of other municipal councillors in the county and indicated that increased financial incentive may be necessary to attract new and younger faces to the council table.

“I really think we should be looking at that” he said. “Personally I don’t even know if I’m running next time. It has to be dealt with before the next election.”

Reeve Murray Fearrey said Dysart’s relatively low council remuneration probably has quite a lot do with him.

“I’m probably the reason for that I vote against it [remuneration increases] every time” Fearrey said adding he thought part of the role was community service.

Other councillors agreed it was time to revisit how much councillors are paid Deputy-reeve Andrea Roberts noting that the deputy-reeve position for Dysart et al pays thousands of dollars less a year than the deputy-mayor position in Algonquin Highlands.

In Dysart et al councillors are paid approximately $14000 per year. The deputy-reeve approximately $17000 and the reeve approximately $25000.

In Algonquin Highlands councillors receive approximately $18500 in payment the deputy-mayor $22000 and the reeve about $27000. In Minden Hills the figures are similar with councillors paid $18000 the deputy-reeve $21500 and the reeve approximately $27000. In Highlands East councillors are paid approximately $16000 per year the deputy-reeve about $20000 and the reeve approximately $24000.

Council agreed to strike a committee to review compensation. The heads of council and their deputies from each of the four lower-tier municipalities comprise county councillors and those on county council are compensated at the upper-tier level as well.

Dysart et al chief administrative officer Tamara Wilbee noted that at the county level a base salary is provided with per diem payments on top and that Dysart council might look at that sort of model in its review.