Councillors Brenda Parkinson (far left) and Megan McMath (far right) had very different perspectives on the remuneration of Council. At a Jan. 28 meeting, the issue was not resolved and postponed for at least another two weeks. (File photo)

Sooke council delays action on pay raise

Sooke pays its councillors the least of any of the Greater Victoria municipalities

After a lengthy and contentious discussion on what councillors should be paid, Sooke district council has kicked the can further down the road, delaying any decision for at least another two weeks.

The move came after a motion by Coun. Brenda Parkinson to delay the decision for two months was defeated with only Parkinson and Coun. Al Beddows voting in favour of the move.

Parkinson’s motion would have seen the formation of a committee to review council remuneration, despite detailed staff and consultant reports were already available. Those reports indicate the District of Sooke pays its councillors the least of any of the Greater Victoria municipalities.

The staff report used the information to bring forward a recommendation that council approve a 15 per cent increase for 2019, plus a 1.5 per cent increase in following years.

Under the plan, councillors will see their annual pay jump from $10,160 to $11,684 in the first year, while the mayor’s salary will go to $23,368.

RELATED: Problem not unique to Sooke

Parkinson defended her proposal to form yet another committee, saying council needed a “fact-based report” that resonated with Sooke residents.

Beddows said it was important council be seen as consulting with the public, noting it was a touchy issue and consultation could save council headaches down the road.

The approach raised the ire of freshman Coun. Megan McMath, who maintained fair compensation was critical to attracting quality candidates to run for council.

Her comments elicited a response from Parkinson that Sooke has a good council now – four with university degrees –and that current compensation didn’t prevent that from happening.

The debate continued with at least one unusual twist.

At one point Parkinson seemed to call or an impromptu straw vote of the gallery, asking people who supported the salary increase to raise their hands.

She was cautioned that this was not allowed, but responded with, “Well, I just did it.”

At yet another point, McMath cautioned her fellow councillors that they should not be wasting staff time and delaying what needed to be done, “going through a process because you’re concerned about what people will say on Facebook.”

Coun. Tony St.-Pierre agreed: “I don’t like wasting tax money if we know what the outcome should be.”



mailto:tim.collins@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Young woman taken to hospital following Trans-Canada accident

Incident left woman with ‘minor injuries’ as West Shore RCMP continue investigation

Reignited embers damage Saanich house in Sunday morning fire

Fire started at around 8:30 a.m. in bucket filled with ashes placed on balcony

Belgian man searches for family of fallen First World War soldier from Victoria

Mark Edward Berton attended Victoria High School and has his grave in Flanders Field

Saanich preschool celebrates 30 years with reunion event

Thousands invited RSVP for Carrot Seed Preschool 30-year celebration

Sidney Museum’s Chief Dan George exhibition sees surge of interest

Four mayors, federal Green leader, Tsartlip reps to attend June 21 opening ceremony

REPLAY: The best videos from across B.C. this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week in the province

UN urges Canada to take more vulnerable Mexican migrants from Central America

The request comes as the United States takes a harder line on its Mexican border

Mistrial declared in Jamie Bacon murder plot trial

Bacon was on trial for counselling to commit the murder of Person X

B.C. VIEWS: Money-laundering melodrama made for TV

Public inquiry staged to point fingers before 2021 election

Canadian homebuyers escaping high housing costs by moving to secondary cities

In British Columbia, exurbs have grown in the Hope Valley and Kamloops

Feds lay out proposed new rules for voice, video recorders in locomotives

Transport Canada wants to limit use of recorders to if a crew’s actions led to a crash

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen found in torched SUV

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

SOOKE HISTORY: Pemberton Pool namesake remains a mystery

Historian believes it was possibly named after surveyor Joseph Despard Pemberton

Most Read