No Raise for Cornwall Ontario City Council by Marina Restinetti – May 26, 2010

No raise for city council

Cornwall ON – After a grueling debate over the city councils pay increase, the end result was “No.”

Many options were brought forward to the table but no one seemed to agree on a solution.

One alternative was to include their expense account directly into their salary causing no grief to tax payers. “This would be the way to go. It’s totally up to us and there would be no financial impact on the city,” said councillor Mary Ann Hug.

Another was to prorate the raise over the next four year period.

Councillor Syd Gardiner fought hard stating “at the end of the day we are still one of the lowest paid councils. I’ve sat with people at meetings who complained that we aren’t making enough money and here they are today saying ‘no no let’s leave it the way it is.’ Cowards!”

When asked how he thinks a struggling family would have reacted to the councils pay increase Gardiner responded, “Whether or not we get a raise that same family would still be struggling. Our council works very hard and we have acquired many extra responsibilities over the last four years.”

He also explained that the motion for a raise was not only for his financial gain but to also attract a new generation of councillors.

City council did receive a 2 percent pay increase last year.  Councillor Denis Thibault donated his raise to a local charity.

According to a council remuneration document for 2010 most cities comparable to ours have higher city councillor salaries. Some examples are:

Cornwall population 46,000 – Councillor annual salary $14,456

Woodstock population 31,766 – Councillor annual salary $21,658

Brockville population 24,000 – Councillor annual salary $15,923

St. Thomas population 36,000 – Councillor annual salary $10,862

Orillia population 31,000 – Councillor annual salary $23,272

North Bay population 53,966 – Councillor annual salary $17,509

What do you think Cornwall?  You can post your comment below.

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  1. Well the rate does seem low comparatively speaking. It would help to know the number of hours each Councilor serves over the year to receive this money. Can any of the present Councilors give a ball park figure?

  2. Hmm, Syd Gardiner is not so nice with his choice of words. Passion and community involvement should be the determining factor when seeking municipal politics.

  3. Maybe (soon-to-be) former Councillor Gardner should relocate to Orillia or somewhere. You don’t have a hope in hell of getting re-elected here.

    I’d also like to know who else voted for or suggested raises of some sort. I’m sure (soon-to-be) former Councillor Gardner isn’t the only pig with his snout in the taxpayers’ trough.

  4. Councillors should be paid in line with other similar sized cities. If you really think that passion and community involvement is not enough, then why pay anything at all? Councillors are doing a real JOB (not one that I want) and must make difficult choices in how much tax to collect and how to spend it.

  5. The school board has a larger budget than the City of Cornwall. Next year, hopefully the economy will improve. If so, a raise would be worth revisiting. Very few people are getting raises at this time. Although I don’t like Syd’s choice of words, he does work on behalf of council.

  6. I am not totally opposed to paying them in accordance with other councillors in other municipalities, but I think we should also consider the average income of the constituents in those communities, as well as the average property value.

    Cornwallites don’t generally get paid very well, so why should the councillors? Bring in some high paying jobs and we’ll talk then.

  7. The school board has a huge budget. Now go ask anyone what is the square root of 25. Ask anyone under 25 what is compound interest. Ask anyone what temperature water boils at. Go ahead, ask.

  8. What temperature does water boil at? 🙂

  9. And as fewer students graduate their teachers salaries still go up.

  10. As Syd Gardiner pointed out the raise was not for his financial gain but to also attract a new generation of city councillors. I’d say that the new generation knows how the old generation operated and they now have an “Overdrive” on their snouts for when they too get to the trough.

  11. Everyone who wanted money should be cast out in the next election! Let’s get some new blood into City Council. We have nothing to lose!

  12. What do you mean, Stan. Draft people into the position? Look for dollar a year people? Interesting.

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