Cobourg Director of Legislative Services Explains Pay Increase Regarding Previous Resolution

In City Hall

Today’s Northumberland recently asked Director of Legislative Services/Municipal Clerk, Brent Larmer about a resolution that was enacted on June 27, 2022 in Cobourg Council.

The question was a result of  council’s decision for their pay increase.

Resident Ryan Crossen pointed out that the last paragraph of  the resolution states that, “a formal review of Council remuneration takes place i the  third year of the next term of Council by a method of Council’s choosing to take effect for the next incoming Council Term.

In a 4-3 vote council passed a motion  that will give council/deputy mayor and mayor a raise between 43% and 73% raise plus benefits.

The motion goes against what had previously been passed by council stating there would be no increases until the third year, as opposed to the third month with the current council.

Larmer explained below:

“The Town of Cobourg has always had a Council Remuneration By-law in place which has states the Council Remuneration. This by-law is distinct from the Town of Cobourg budget but is always part of the yearly budget numbers based on what’s allocated in the By-law for Council Remuneration. The current by-law indicates an annual increase, implemented on July 1st of each year, based on the previous 12 month increase in the Consumer Price Index.

During the 2023 budget deliberations, a motion was passed to amend the current Council Remuneration By-law through the salary amounts indicated within the Council Budget Remuneration sheets. With the approval of this resolution, staff will prepare an amendment to the Council Remuneration By-law which will be on the Agenda for approval at the February 27th Regular Council Meeting. If Council approves the proposed Remuneration By-law (phased increases), this will replace the previous numbers in the Remuneration By-law and Council will have an amended Remuneration By-law based on a three-year phased in salary increase.

In accordance with the proposed budget meeting resolution on Council Remuneration, Council salaries will remain at the final proposed increase, which will be reached in July of 2024, until such time as a new Remuneration By-law is proposed and approved.

During each year’s budget deliberations, Council does not need to vote on the approved Council Remuneration as the By-law is independent of the Budget. Staff use the approved By-law to indicate each year’s rate in the budget sheets. However, at any time, during Council’s term, Council can bring a motion to the floor to amend the existing by-law.

In essence, Council sets policy, and Council can amend Policy anytime (based on procedures) or go against policy if a majority of Council votes in favour of that change. This Council voted, during the budget process to vote in favour of an adjustment to Council Remuneration and make it part of the budget. Now, the proposed amending By-law will come back for Council approval.”

Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

Has been a photojournalist for over 30-years and have been honoured to win numerous awards for photography and writing over the years. Best selling author for the book Highway of Heroes - True Patriot Love

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