Each year, I have made it a point to post my expenses on my website. The recent media coverage of Council’s salaries (see yrmg.com story here) reminded me that while it appears as part of my message to residents on the Town’s website, I should also link to it on this site as well. Please feel free to click here for details of my 2015 expenses and remuneration. I look forward to any questions you may have.
And while we’re on the subject of compensation, I feel it’s important to comment a bit more on the subject. I honestly don’t think it’s possible to make a direct comparison between how elected officials are compensated from municipality to municipality. While there are some similarities, each Town has different expectations of their elected officials, they face different challenges and demands, and each Council is structured a little bit differently, with various committees and required meetings. In East Gwillimbury, our five-member council is the smallest allowed under The Municipal Act, and we serve at large, with 24,000 constituents and 245 square kilometers in area. (The Town of Aurora is about 50 sq km, and Newmarket is 38 sq km — both of those Towns have larger Councils.) Some Councils only hold evening meetings, while others have daytime obligations, which precludes Councillors from working at a proverbial “nine to five” job, as is the case in East Gwillimbury.
Further, as I commented in the recent article, it also comes down to what residents expect of their elected officials — as a Board of Directors for a multi-million dollar corporation, with responsibility for things like clean drinking water, safe roads, and emergency services, it is a position that should not be taken lightly. At election time, if residents want to attract the best candidates to speak on their behalf, those officials should be compensated accordingly. I think it’s also impossible to properly account for the hours a Councillor “works”. When I stop into Vince’s for milk on a Sunday afternoon, and another customer asks me when the 2nd Concession will be finished, technically I’m working, even if my whiny four year old is ramming that customer’s shins with those cute kiddie carts. I wouldn’t dream of billing by the hour, nor do I even really count the hours I put in. I love the job, and accept the established salary. Isn’t that we all strive for? To have a job we love so much it doesn’t feel like work??