Done deal: council OKs pay hikes by 5-2 vote

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After months of discussion and much public consternation, Deep River council last week approved pay increases for council members.

The increases start at the top, with the mayor’s salary rising by 30 percent to $33,440, while pay rates for the reeve and councillors are set as a percentage of the mayor’s salary – 66 percent for the reeve and 50 percent for councillors.

In dollar terms, that means the reeve will now be paid an annual honorarium of $22,070, up from $14,297, and councillors will receive $16,270, up from $10,731.

Future council increases will be based on the average of those received by full-time town staff, not the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

A number of concerns about the pay hikes were expressed by ratepayers at a public meeting in February, including Larry Dumoulin, who appeared as a delegation at last week’s council meeting to call on council to establish a public task force for the purpose of reviewing and recommending a new pay structure, both for council and ancillary boards.

“The process of determining council pay has focused primarily on comparing pay and population, little else,” Dumoulin said.

“If a pay raise is appropriate, a more detailed case must be made to the public.”

Bruce Beakley, a long-time director of human resources with the County of Renfrew, and now a human-resources consultant who has been assisting the town with its deliberation of council pay rates, had different ideas on the matter…

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