Vaudreuil-Dorion council to abolish salary increases based on population growth
PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK
Vaudreuil-Dorion council presented a notice of motion to abolish annual salary increases based on the annual population growth of the municipality for the mayor and councillors.
The City of Vaudreuil-Dorion adopted a notice of motion at the monthly council meeting to abolish annual salary increases based on the annual population growth of the municipality for the mayor and councillors, announced Mayor Guy Pilon on May 4. Pilon said their salaries are already sufficient and they no longer need population indexing increases although they will continue to accept the annual cost-of-living adjustment which is tied to the rate of inflation. The rapid growth in the city’s population which more than doubled to 40,000 residents within the past decade, meant council had to assume more responsibilities to properly manage the ensuing growth and construction boom, and the salary increases were needed, said Pilon.
Now that the boom has slowed and with the population base more stable, their salaries will also remain stable.
“There will be no more increases based on the population growth in our city,” Pilon told Your Local Journal. “Our salary is very good and we don’t want there to be too much difference between our salaries and reality. The reality is that we had to be paid more with a population of 40,000 than we were with 15,000 and now we’ve achieved that.” The timing of the announcement which will come into effect next year was made to indicate council is sincere in efforts to keep its remuneration low, rather than doing so in 2017 when the next municipal election is scheduled.
This way the initiative cannot be misinterpreted by citizens as a ploy by the mayor or councillors wanting to seek re-election, said Pilon “Now no one can tell us that the only reason we did this was because we wanted to be re-elected,” said Pilon. “Our population will continue to grow but our salaries will not and we’re happy with that. This change will be permanent. We will not go back on that. Our salaries represent a small amount of our $65 million operating budget.”
The salary population growth increases are allowed under the Quebec Cities and Towns Act which prescribes a formula based on a municipality’s population growth and the compensation for elected officials that should be accorded. As the population grows, municipalities have the option to increase their salaries. Salaries for councillors can be up to one-third of what the mayor earns. In the Mayor’s Report on the city’s financial situation for 2014, it stated that Pilon received a salary of $91,646 with an expense account of $15,787.
The eight councillors each received $23,874 with an expense account of $11,937. In 2008, the mayor’s salary was $56,150 with $14,242 allocated for expenses. Councillors received $15,555 and $7,777 for expenses. The mayor also receives stipends for attending meetings at four regional level municipal government agencies: the Municipalité Régionale de Comté (MRC) de Vaudreuil-Soulanges; the Conseil Intermunicipale de Transport (CIT) la Presqu’Île, the region’s public transit organization; the Montreal Metropolitan Community (MMC) and the Centre Local Développement (CLD) Vaudreuil-Soulanges, the region’s economic development organization.
As the official Vaudreuil-Dorion mayoral representative for the MRC, Pilon receives $148 for attending each board and council meeting and $106 when sitting as a member of various committees; $75 for attending each meeting as CIT President; a maximum annual remuneration of $25,000 for serving as the MRC mayoral representative at the MMC, and $185 per meeting as the municipal sitting member for the CLD.