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Council salary proposal gets a look over

By Randy Thoms Oct 13, 2023 | 6:19 PM

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Fort Frances Council is looking for a few more dollars allocated to attend conferences, training or special meetings.

As part of changes to council salaries, it is proposed each member get an anual allocation of $3,500.

Most councillors do not think it is enough.

Councillor Wendy Brunetta says that would not have covered just one conference she attended this summer.

“I attended the Alpha Conference in June in Toronto. I didn’t even pay for registration, but I paid for flights, hotel, travel, meals and parking, and my total expense was $3,700. I’m thinking $3,500 is definitely too low,” says Brunetta.

Brunetta adds she is also a member of the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association’s board and usually attends the NOMA conference each year.
She says by attending that conference, there would not be enough money left over to attend others like the Rural Ontario Municipal Association or the Association of Municipalities of Ontario.

It was suggested the funding be increased to $5,000.

The proposal also suggests an increase in salaries each year for all members of council based on the same percentage offered to managers and non-unionized staff.

The councillor appointed deputy mayor would see their salary become 70 per cent of that given to the mayor.

Per diems, paid to members of council for attending other meetings on behalf of the town, would be $80-160, depending on the length of the meeting.

Councillor John McTaggart wonders if there is enough for councillors who must take time off work to attend special meetings.

“I think there needs to be some consideration and looking ahead to future councils and trying to attract people of that calibre that we really need to think about that a little bit and make it they’re not going to make enough sitting here in a day as they may make it work, but at least it helps towards the cause,” says McTaggart.

A final document is expected to come back to council for approval before the end of the year.