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STREETER: The Western Star asked city residents what they thought of Corner Brook city council raising the amount of remuneration its members receive


Corner Brook city council voted Monday night to increase the remuneration that council members receive each year. The increase is meant to offset the effect of a change in federal tax regulations. Councillors used to pay income tax on two-thirds of the amount they received, with one-third being non-taxable. Under the new regulations the entire amount will be taxable, meaning councillors will pay more income tax and take home less. The increase approved will bring them back to the same level as under the old regulations with a slight raise. We decided to see what residents thought of the increase.

We asked: What do you think about Corner Brook city council raising the amount of remuneration its members receive?

Lesley Taylor

Corner Brook

It really makes me mad, because I feel that they’re not putting the money where it’s supposed to be put. They’re not fixing the roads. They don’t have very many plows on the roads. That’s just too bad, let them pay the taxes like everybody else.

Kathy Kennedy

Corner Brook

I think they’re getting enough as far as I’m concerned. Taxpayers are already putting enough into the city. People are starving to death, they can’t afford it, and here they’re going around like big shots.

Rejeanne Martineau

Corner Brook

I believe they deserve it. There’s a lot of work involved and lots of time, so why not. We all pay taxes, if it can help them with that little increase, good for them.

Ron Taylor

Corner Brook

That’s not too bad. The big thing is as long as they don’t raise our taxes. That’s the bottom line.

Clarence Bond

Corner Brook

I don’t know, I think it should be someone else decide, not themselves get together and authorize it. Some outside body, or even the government.

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Two city councillors, Linda Chaisson and Vaughn Granter, voted against the remuneration increase with the other five members of council supporting it.

Here’s some of what those who supported it had to say during Monday night’s debate of the motion.

Deputy Mayor Bill Griffin

I don’t see it as an increase.

Coun. Tony Buckle

No amount of money can fully compensate individuals for some of the sacrifices that must be made in local government to give a full and proper commitment to council. It means a great deal of personal sacrifice and hard work.

So, at the very least, serving on council should not be a financial burden and should provide some measures of compensation for the time and effort required.

Coun. Josh Carey

With this particular motion, and we did have some discussion on it, we’re tying to it as well that that’s going to be reviewed every three years. And then the next council that’s coming in, it will be imposed on them within that 30-day timeline.

I guess that’s the greater challenge for me. If we’re going to do a review of council’s remuneration, do a straight review of council remuneration, don’t link the two together. Don’t hide behind one in support of the other.  

Mayor Jim Parsons

Quite simply I think councillors sign up for a job and should get paid what they got paid from day one to the end of their term.

In this case, I think each of us, because of this change, will see about 10 per cent decrease in our take home pay.

Personally, I think everyone around this room deserves what they’re getting paid.

To take an unscheduled pay cut is something that I don’t personally feel is that fair to myself or my family.

Coun. Bernd Staeben

I’ve been around this table since 1993 off and on, and since that time I’ve not claimed five cents for travel, conventions, meals or any other item. That was my own doing and my own decision. That’s how I felt about taxpayers’ money.

But in this particular case, I do not perceive this as a raise, a cash grab or anything else. It reflects the fiscal reality that the Canada Revenue Agency has put on all of us.

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