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Mayor Peter Kelly turns down raise
(Halifax, November 2, 2010) –Mayor Peter Kelly has turned down his latest raise and will recommend that Regional Council review the current formula for setting its stipends.
“I do not plan to take the money from the taxpayers of Halifax Regional Municipality,” he said Tuesday.
Effective November 1, the Mayor received a 4 per cent raise to $144,962; councillors got a 1.6 per cent hike to $72,357; and the deputy mayor’s salary went to $79,592.
The Mayor said that he had been contacted by numerous residents who are unhappy with the latest round of salary increases.
“These are difficult economic times,” the Mayor acknowledged. “The people have spoken and I have heard them, loud and clear. As a result, I cannot in good conscience accept this increase.”
Council’s salaries were set in 2004 by an arm’s-length group of citizens and have become a bone of contention. Critics claim the increases are too rich because the complicated formula takes into account salaries in cities like Winnipeg and Vancouver and is weighted to their much-larger populations.
“Our society is facing different financial truths than it did in 2004,” said Mr. Kelly. “We need to revisit the formula and arrive at one which is more in step with the economic realities of the community.”
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Mayor Peter Kelly, 490-4010