CFN asks the Cornwall Council Candidates – Would you Rescind the Outrageous Council Pay Hike? POLL

Cornwall SPRING 2012CORNWALL Ontario – Last week CFN sent a query to all those officially running for council regarding the voted upon pay hike for elected officials at the last Council meeting.

The raise was severe and many residents have voted their outrage at having such increases including those union staff asked to show restraint and accept 2% increases.

It was pointed out that the monies spent on a consultants report further inflamed the extravagance of the raises which essentially tried to implement a form of arbitration in raising the honorariums bestowed by rate payers for those offering their services for elected office.

One viewer summed it up best.  The consultants were out to lunch because council is not a position and Cornwall is not competing for its elected officials in the same manner that we would for say…police officers or fireman.

Also, the city is currently playing hardball with EMS staff who clearly in good faith can demand more in light of elected official raises.

1. The basic concept underpinning the report or the premise upon which it is based is not appropriate for an analysis of councillor salaries.
That is, the report is basically a “market survey” which is typically used when you are doing a compensation study of employee wages.
The “market” or the employer’s “comparators/competitors” are surveyed in order to determine if the wages you are paying your emp’ees are competitive – with an eye to both issues of emp’ee retention and recruitment.
In the case of politicians – there is no “marketplace” within which the City of Cornwall has to compete in order to attract/retain political office holders. Therefore, the whole thing seems inappropriate from the get-go. Unless of course, you subscribe to the theory that you need to pay an appropriate salary/honorarium in order to attract good candidates for office.
If that is true, which given the amount of pay involved can’t really be driving a person’s decision to seek public office or not – and if it is then we are really in trouble here, then what does all this say about the quality of the current roster of councillors?
2. Further on that point, another basis upon which pay increases are awarded, more in the private than public sectors, is on performance. If that was to be the criteria, what aspects of the performance of the current council could be looked to to justify such a high percentage increase in pay?
The following question was asked of all those running for office according to the City of Cornwall Website for election for 2014.  For those already running if they had voted for the raise they were not asked the question.
IF elected would you rescind the voted for Council & Mayoralty raises?
The following responded without a comment or no comment.   Leslie O’Shaughnessy – Mayor, Mark A MacDonald council,
Geoff Stephenson – Council
Hi Jamie:
I think, like most people, that a raise would not be a bad thing, but certainly not what they voted for themselves. I would say that if everyone was getting a 2% raise, then that might be reasonable, as long as it’s the same as everyone else. So I guess in answer to your question, yes, I would vote to repeal this atrocity.
Gary Samler – Council
Sorry Jamie. I have been so busy this week and I just received this email. If elected, yes I would vote to rescind the vote for Mayor and Council raises.
Alyssa Blais – Council
Hi Jamie, 
Can you please use when corresponding with me about the election. 
Thank you. Have a great week-end.
Kind regards,
Todd Bennett – Council
Hi Jamie.
Just got back from camping yesterday, and I am catching up on emails today.
You ask a tough question. The easy answer would be to say yes, I would vote to rescind, but that would be dishonest.
As I am sure you have researched what the comparable municipalities are being compensated, as I have, I think council has brought their compensation up to those levels.
People will hate that answer, but nobody wants to work for less than what others get paid to do the same job. Obviously I haven’t done the job of councillor, and really have nothing to base my response on, other than looking at the comparable cities salary structure for mayors and councils. I feel that it is reasonable to expect to be paid a comparable wage, for every line of work. Now having said that, if I were elected, and it were to be rescinded, I would have no problem working for what is currently being paid. I didn’t look up the salary levels before I put my name on the ballot.  
My problem with this whole thing, is the use of a consultant when they already had a report form a committee of local business, and community citizens telling them they should have a raise a couple of years ago. They already knew what this report would say, but possibly thought it would be easier to sell with a consultants stamp on it.
Now this council has said many times that it has no extra money. So the next council needs to find efficiencies to pay for this increase. Just adding it as an increase to the next budget is to easy to do, but doesn’t show any leadership. Anytime a business increases its payroll, they always look for places to make up that money. Usually finding waste or improvements in operations to offset the increase. The next council will have to do the same.
I hope this answers your question. Sorry the response was so late.
Gerald Samson – Council
If a motion came up I would vote to cancel the raise.
Jamie Gilcig – Mayor
I would vote to rescind the raise as voted and passed by the Kilger council.
And now we’re asking you, the public to vote too!
Those that voted to rescind  4, to keep 1, non answer 3 – no answer

Should the New Cornwall Ontario Council RESCIND the Pay Raise As Voted In on July 14, 2014?

View Results

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Sadly Carilyne Hebert, David Murphy, Davey Bedard, Brock Frost, and Guy St. Jean did not respond or reply to our emails for this question clearly not caring about our amazing CFN viewers.
CFN has a clear policy to invite all announced candidates for any of our events, queries, or ad specials as all those running for office should be treated equally in our opinion regardless of personal issue.
What do you think about this huge raise and consultant used to implement it Cornwall?  You can post your comment below.
Our apologies – We missed Roland Besner’s response.
Roland Besner – Council
I would vote to rescind the increase.

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  1. One thing that I can say is that very few who presented themselves as councellors are worth their salt. I think that Mr. Samler would be good, I think that Gerry Samson and André Rivette are good but the rest are not there to serve the people. This Carine Hébert is a lost cause. Good, competent people are very needed and so far from what I see it is going to be another repeat of exactly what I was afraid of. If the people of Cornwall are really competent and want good change they would come forward or else the name sticks.

  2. This is one election that I will be following closely as I can. I am very weary of the outcome and I hope that I am proven wrong because if Bare Ass and his cut throats get in you can kiss Cornwall goodbye. It doesn’t take a lifetime to make good changes and you cannot do it thinking well in 20 or more years time maybe. No it has to be done now and the people of Cornwall have to change themselves. Education is key to knowing what is really going on and do a great deal of reading and go to the meetings. What goes on in those meetings concerns the public and you the public pay taxes to keep the town going and you are paying the salaries of the mayor and council and when they screw up it goes back on you – your pocket. You do not put the full responsibilities on these people but you have to take the share of the responsibilities to make sure that things are run the right way or else throw the bums out and don’t wait for another election because then it can be too late.

  3. I cannot believe Alyssa. If that is the kind of politician she is going to be, then Cornwall would certainly be better off without someone who is already doing double-speak!

  4. I agree with Jules, change is needed. Hopefully the rest of the Cornwall taxpayers agree and we will see a new slate of people around the council table come November.

  5. Phoebe…..Alyssa Blais is an Elaine MacDonald protege. Should anything less be expected?

  6. Todd Bennett! Good answer Todd you can expect and be assured of strong support in your bid to elected office.

    Alyssa Blais! Must have misunderstood the Question that was asked.

  7. @Phoebe
    Is it double-speak or just a lack of reading comprehension? Either way, you’re right… Cornwall doesn’t need more of this.

  8. @William E Beattie…not sure why you thought Todd Bennett’s answer was good, he gave a typical politicians non committal reply in a long winded manner. He did not say that he would rescind or support it. Basically meaningless. Personally I do not want to vote for a typical political type of individual. I want someone who is not afraid to call a spade a spade and someone unlike Todd who isn’t going to sit on the fence. Read his answer again if you will.

  9. Author

    From reading it I thought Todd was supporting the raise?

  10. Todd is a great person I have had the pleasure of meeting him at Farm Boy prelist election and wished him well. I fear he lacks the ability and experience to work at the levels required for this position.

    He spoke about acting before thinking about the salt tanks. His devotion and passion for the cause deserves t be considered, however the ability to act with out thinking is a scary weakness.

  11. David Oldham! With all due respect I see Todd Bennett as anything but a fence sitter, and compared to the majority already sitting on council or the group of want to B’s hoping for a seat on council, I would place Todd at the front of the line at this time.

  12. When reading Todd’s answer he sounded more like myself with long winded explanations that made no sense. At first I figured Todd to be intelligent since he is in business. Todd get with it and everyone starts at the bottom and don’t be nervous. It takes personality to be in council.

  13. William E Beattie with all due respect would you agree that Todd artfully dodged answering the question posed to him? A non committal answer is the definition of fence sitting. In my opinion not being as bad a fence sitter as current sitting members of council is like one criminal in prison not being as bad as another criminal in prison. The best of the worst is not my criteria for giving my vote. No disrespect intended, you certainly have the right to your opinion. However although I have been on board with some of your other stands/opinions on this issue/point I believe that we will have to agree to disagree.

  14. @ADMIN…I took Todd’s answer to clearly indicate that he was ok with or without the raise. But that was not the question asked. This prompted my comment regarding fence sitting. I do not so much doubt his passion but rather as Hailey Brown suggested his ability to function as needed for the position.

  15. Author

    David sounds like Todd has been hanging out with that Glen Grant again 🙂

  16. Admin with regards to Alyssa Blais I sent her a simple question via her election site and to date have received no response. Personally I am looking for professionalism to represent us around the horseshoe and individuals who have the time for the average taxpayer. Her inability to respond in a timely matter during the election process raises a huge red flag as to how well she could/would represent us if elected. Not a good start.

  17. Author

    Sadly David over half of our current candidates have about as much professionalism of 8 of our current councilors….

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