Langford mayor and council vote for salary hikes
Langford Mayor Stew Young is in for a raise.
The long-serving mayor and the Langford city council voted Monday to renew the city's remuneration bylaw and give themselves a raise.
“We get up every morning and go get things done," Young said. "We never attached a dollar amount or an hourly wage but some councillors brought it forward and it’s my job to look at it."
The bylaw was introduced in 2006 and salaries were supposed to be reviewed every two years but have gone untouched ever since.
An administrator looked into the salaries of mayors and councils of similar-sized cities and the findings surprised Young, he said.
“I thought we were maybe five or 10 per cent below but it turned out to be 100 per cent in some cases.”
Young’s salary sits at $37,588 and will increase incrementally over five years to $75,863. Councillors will see their $17,661 salaries increase 55 per cent to $27,410.
The increases will put the city government in step with similar-sized cities in the province, but still substantially lower than other Island municipalities like North Cowichan and Campbell River.
“People generally want to be very mindful of how much people are being paid,” said Langford Coun. Lillian Szpak.
Reached from Quesnel, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation's B.C. director Kris Sims is critical of politicians seeking substantial pay increases.
“They should look more toward the idea that this is a public service for which they are reimbursed a modest amount but do not start banking on this as your full-time gig,” Sims said.
People in Langford were generally supportive of the increases.
“They work really hard and deserve to be rewarded for that, but it is a big jump in a small period of time” said resident Rachael Tancock.
Retiree Joe Foran agreed. “It’s been a while since anyone around here had a raise.”
The salary increases are retroactive to Jan. 1, 2019.