September 26th, 2018

Council remuneration broken down

By Gillian Slade on October 11, 2017. 

How much a city councillor or the mayor gets paid per hour depends on how much time they spend on council business but it could be as low as $17.54, or as high as $32 when benefits are included in remuneration.

The mayor’s position is full-time with a base salary of $68,500 plus $34,300 in health, dental and other benefits, for a total of $102,800.

Councillors are considered part-time, with a base salary of $22,800 and total benefits of $11,400, for a total of $34,200.

Councillors spend between 20 and 40 hours per week on council business while the mayor spends 70 to 80 on duties, according to a News story published a year ago.

The 2017 federal budget includes a proposal to remove the tax exemption for “non-accountable expense allowances paid to members of provincial and territorial legislative assemblies and to certain municipal officers, which is to be eliminated in 2019,” according to a city document. “Staff will bring forward a recommendation to council in 2018 regarding this change.”

That remuneration is in the form of benefits and allowances, which includes Canada Pension Plan, extended health, dental and vision coverage with 100 per cent of the premium paid by the city, group life insurance, accidental disability and dismemberment insurance, expense allowances, car allowance of 46 cents per km for out-of-town trips, a per diem of $150 a day when attending to city business beyond the borders of Medicine Hat, gross honoraria travel allowances, professional memberships and tuition.

Life insurance premiums are paid in full by the city while optional group benefits are paid by the individual. Earnings of elected officials are not considered “insurable,” so no employment insurance deductions apply, according to information from the city.

In lieu of pension benefits they are entitled to matching RSP up to 7.5 per cent of the salary portion of the remuneration. When it comes to Canada Pension Plan, what the city pays is calculated at 4.95 per cent of personable earnings to a yearly maximum of $54,900 for 2016.

Each council member is given a city smartphone and an iPad for business use.

Remuneration in the past decade:

— 2012: Mayor Norm Boucher received a total of $107,000 and councillors between $36,000 and $43,000;

— 2009: Boucher received a total of $108,000 and councillors between $36,000 and $46,000;

— 2006: Mayor Garth Vallely received a total of $81,000 and councillors between $37,000 and $50,000

Remuneration compared to other mid-sized cities in 2015:

— St. Albert (pop. 62,000):

Mayor $104,172, a development budget of $7,000, retirement contribution paid by the city $3,097 and $200 per diem

Councillors $35,460, a development budget of $5,000, retirement contribution $1,084 and $200 per diem;

— Airdrie (pop. 43,000):

Mayor (not a full-time position) base salary $85,000

Councillors base salary $35,550;

— Red Deer (pop. 90,000):

Mayor annual honorarium $84,177

Councillors annual honorarium $59,080 and for out-of-county travel, for attendance at county-related matters, there is a per diem of $210 per day.

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