I had been contemplating this idea for some time and then various related events that were prevalent in the local media a couple of months ago spurred my commitment to bring this forward.
I think it’s important that options regarding remuneration for municipal election officials – other than what’s in place/not in place now – are explored. Because of this I prepared a notice of motion to submit to the Union of British Columbia Municipalities for its consideration at the 2018 convention in September and I brought it to Coquitlam City Council.
I had to refine and amend the wording of the notice of motion a couple of times. My goal was to create a resolution that would garner consensus around the Coucil table and not be divisive in any way. It took some rewording of both a whereas statement and the resolution itself but I am comfortable that the way it is now worded captures the spirit and intention that I was aiming for all along. I am thankful for everyone who provided input and feedback towards amending and improving this motion. And I’m delighted that it was approved by Coquitlam City Council by a unanimous vote at our Monday night Council meeting.
I believe very strongly there exists a better way to set and review municipal elected official remuneration. One that is NOT the inconsistent, patchwork system that’s in place now. The current system has the effect of diminishing trust in local government and eroding public confidence. I don’t want that. I believe most of us don’t want that. We strive for the complete opposite.
I believe the manner in which local government elected official remuneration is set is seriously flawed and that an improved, more appropriate process exists that will eliminate misperceptions, cynicism, backlash and the erosion of public confidence. We just need to get the conversation started at UBCM. I believe this notice of motion can accomplish just that.
Here is the final Notice of Motion:
Remuneration for Local Government Elected Officials
WHEREAS local governments currently set remuneration for elected officials through a variety of ways, without the benefit of parameters or a consistent, province-wide approach;
AND WHEREAS the concept of elected officials voting on their own salaries raises many concerns among residents, and can have the effect of diminishing trust in local government;
AND WHEREAS an independent process available province-wide could give citizens more confidence that remuneration for elected local government officials is determined in a fair and reasonable way:
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM examine the issue of local government elected-official remuneration and establish an independent process that can assist local governments in setting fair and equitable remuneration for elected officials.
And, that the city of Coquitlam submit this resolution to the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) for its consideration and support at their 2018 Annual Convention.