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Council Compensation Error Corrected
(Tuesday, December 8, 2009) - The discovery of an error in the application of a Regional Council compensation formula has been corrected, resulting in stipend adjustments for Council members.
The November 1, 2009 increase to HRM Councillor and Mayor stipends completed a seven-year process set out in the 2004 Report of the Citizens’ Commission on Remuneration for Members of Council for HRM. Through this arm’s-length commission, a formula was established that takes into consideration annual stipends for elected officials in eight jurisdictions similar in nature and size to HRM, and ensures that Council members would be neither the lowest nor the highest.
Over the course of seven years, the stipends for members of Halifax Regional Council were to gradually increase until they reached a “median rate” defined as 50 per cent of the difference between the weighted average of stipends from the eight comparator municipalities and the highest stipend provided in the eight comparator municipalities.
With the culmination of the process this year, a routine review was conducted to verify that stipends for 2010 were now at the "median rate" as intended by the citizens’ commission.
Consequently, it was discovered that the formula had been applied incorrectly starting in November 2005. The miscalculation was repeated in each of the subsequent years such that the pay for every member of Council fell below the level stipulated by the formula.
Current and past Councillors who have held office at any point since November 1, 2005 will each receive an adjustment from HRM to correct the error.
While the amounts per individual Council member vary according to years of service, the total cost for the retroactive payments and salary increases for this year is $246,096. These payments will come from this year’s budget.
Revised salaries for Mayor and Councillors are as follows:
Mayor: $139,330 (previously revised for 2010 to $136,550).
Council: $71,206 (previously revised for 2010 to $67,355).
Deputy Mayor: $78,327 (Councillor’s salary plus 10 per cent).
For further information please visit http://halifax.ca/legislation/adminorders/compensation.html .
Manager, Public Affairs
Manager, Total Compensation