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n CITY SALARIES Mayor and council eye hefty pay hikes The next Whitehorse mayor could take home an extra $6,000, and city councillors could see a…

n CITY SALARIES

Mayor and council

eye hefty pay hikes

The next Whitehorse mayor could take home an extra $6,000, and city councillors could see a salary bump of $4,000 a year, if a committee’s recommendation is adopted.

It’s time the city’s mayor and council get paid what their worth, said councillor Jan Stick.

And, with the current city council on its way out, this is the perfect time to do it.

“We’re not doing it for ourselves, we’re not giving ourselves a raise, but it is recognition that salaries go up and it’s a lot of work being mayor and council,” said Stick.

Currently the mayor takes home $66,800, and each city councillor is paid $13,363 per year.

When compared to other cities of similar size, those salaries look small.

The Yellowknife mayor takes home $83,800 per year, while its councillors pocket $14,743.

The mayor of Grand Prairie makes $70,229, and its councillors $20,574.

So, in mid-August, the city struck a committee of three Whitehorse residents — Yukon College president Terry Weninger, former Mac’s Fireweed Books owner Elaine Smart and court reporting service operator Doug Ayers — to review Whitehorse’s salaries.

Now it’s recommending that the mayor’s salary be raised to $72,500 and councillors’ salaries be increased to $17,500.

While being mayor is a full-time gig, councillors spend, on average, 20 hours a week working.

“That’s a half-time job,” said Stick.

“And if you want to attract people, good people, then you have to make sure there are some rewards there too.

“Not that just being a councillor isn’t rewarding enough,” Stick added with a laugh.

The pay has been set at the same level since 1997.

The pay raise will come back for a vote on Monday.

If approved, the mayor and council will get bigger paycheques by November 1, after the next municipal election. (LC)

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