Revelstoke city council voted to remove the proposed raises from the budget and have staff draft a policy on council remuneration for their future consideration. (Contributed)

Revelstoke city council backtracks on pay raises

They voted to have staff prepare a policy to ensure fair pay in the future

Revelstoke city council will not be giving themselves a raise this year.

At a special council meeting Monday, Coun. Cody Younker brought forward a motion to remove the phased-in raises from the draft budget.

Instead, he asked city staff to come back with a report establishing a remuneration policy for the next city council.

“I think it is important to recognize that people have spoken and I think we all still stand by that we support better pay for the job,” Younker said.

The motion passed unanimously.

Younker first proposed that raises for mayor and council be considered for the 2020 budget in November 2019.

During budget deliberations in January, former councillor Steven Cross made a motion to removed the raises from the budget and redirect the money to the roads and infrastructure budget.

When the motion was defeated, Cross resigned.

READ MORE: Revelstoke City Councillor Steven Cross resigns

READ MORE: UPDATE: Revelstoke City Council gives themselves a raise, councillor resigns in protest

In the days after the resignation there was significant public backlash to the proposed raises, both online and, according to Younker, in person, causing him to reconsider is position.

Two days later, Younker released a statement saying he would no longer be supporting the council raises.

At Monday’s meeting, he said, “The prudent thing now is to listen.”

However, Younker said he was not backing down, saying he wanted to ensure that raises for mayor and council were in place before the next election.

Mayor Gary Sulz agreed the raises are necessary.

“Historically in Revelstoke council remuneration has been low compared to other communities with a negligible increase for several years,” Sulz said.

“When we were elected we knew the wages were low however, moving forward we need to stop underpaying the people that are charged with making the decisions for the community.

“It is council’s responsibility to ensure that council remuneration is at least at industry standards.”

Coun. Rob Elliott wanted to see a deadline put on the motion to ensure that city staff brought back a report in a timely manner.

“As an employer of people, I would never expect someone to work for me for free or for under what they are worth,” Elliott said.

“I think it is important as a community that we would do the same.”

However, council agreed that the flexible wording in the motion would allow city staff to prioritize as they see fit.

“For me this is not a top priority,” Younker said.

Coun. Michael Brooks-Hill said he was looking forward to seeing the staff report, to have baseline information to refer to as there are many different ways to look at the information.

“The problem people had was the process, the fact that there was no clear reasoning behind these numbers and the timing of it,” he said.

Coun. Nicole Cherlet said that everyone she talked to in-person was in favour of the raises, but wanted to have a more “fullsome discussion about the amounts and the timeline and what this would look like.”

“We have heard loud and clear from some parts of our community, but I would argue that we have not heard from the majority,” she said.

Cherlet said she is worried the raises won’t be implemented as it is too easy for councillors to say: “I don’t need it.”

She admitted that she does need it.

“I am going through the year-end financials of my business right now and I am looking at the impact of my capacity here, doing amazing work that I am super proud of and the impact that is having on my business and my own financial stability,” she said.

Cherlet also said she would like more clear communication on the budget process, as she thinks it can be difficult for people to track a proposal and the steps necessary before it becomes a permanent decision. “There is other discussions in this budget that really need to be had but I think they have gotten lost now,” she said.

READ MORE: City of Revelstoke proposing 6% property tax increase


 

@RevelstokeRevue
editor@revelstoketimesreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

City Council

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Smoky skies clearing throughout B.C. Interior

Environment Canada expects “widespread” improvement for all affected areas by Sunday

Penticton wildfire crew goes from Christie Mountain to Cold Springs

The team at Eagle Ridge Consulting is helping fight fires across the border

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

‘This is a very difficult sentencing’; Judge delays Kiera Bourque manslaughter trial to next week

The courts heard Friday that Bourque “did not intend to cause harm” but that her actions were “reckless”

COVID-19 minimizes Okanagan Regional Library budget increase

Library adapts to pandemic fiscal disruptions

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Stranger in truck grabs boy walking home from school in Kelowna

The 11-year-old boy escaped the incident, RCMP are investigating

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Most Read