I was not going to comment on the salary increase that Councillors gave to themselves. Remember the other day, I asked you to write your own BLOG when we saw that Councillor salaries grew by 22.9 per cent and that "Mayor Eddie Francis earned about $30,000 that was not previously disclosed."
Well I was eating breakfast this morning and almost gagged on the sheer hypocrisy that came out of the mouth of Councillor Budget Brister! Remember I asked "Where is Councillor Budget now and why didn't our financial expert catch this? He should be fuming!"
Well we know where he was...he went running off to his favourite columnist to cry for protection when the heat got too hot in the kitchen.
Can you stomach the platitudes. How patronizing.
- "Coun. Dave Brister, operating budget committee chairman, said citizens are right to ask tough questions. "People are justified in being upset about how much council compensation went up. At the end of the day I think council is about public service and the fact we are paid for it at all is a bonus..."
With better controls, Brister expects councillors can withdraw from some boards and committees and their pooled compensation will nosedive. He said that will be fine with him because pay shouldn't be the key to attracting and keeping councillors. "Anybody who's doing it for the money I think would become disillusioned very quickly."
Did he offer to give back the money? NOPE
About the Mayor, why it was said:
- "The mayor, who logs close to 80 hours a week, not counting phone calls, said he has no concerns about his pay and isn't envious of area officials who are paid significantly more. "Trust me. You don't do this for the money. I knew coming in what to expect and I knew what I was prepared to commit to it."
- "After he was elected in 2003, Francis said he questioned why his compensation for Enwin and WUC wasn't disclosed in the council remuneration report that's released annually to the public. "They said to me that's not the way it was done before," Francis said. "Enwin is considered a separate company and as a separate company it pays taxes."
The mayor's compensation from Enwin does not qualify for the one-third tax exemption that applies to other portions of his salary, Francis said.
He said he didn't ask to have his additional salary from Enwin and WUC included on the remuneration report because he didn't want to meddle. "I was very careful to allow administrators to do whatever they do without political interference." But Francis said he will ask to have the figures disclosed in the future."
But since it was in his best interest, why rock the boat right? He has known about it for years, since he was elected. Only after it came out will Francis disclose in future.
I asked the reporter who broke this story if she had included in the amount disclosed any amounts the Mayor and Councillors received from the Windsor Tunnel Commission. If there are additional amounts to be added on, I am sure the Star will report that too.
I know how hard the Mayor and Council work and I do not begrudge them a proper compensation. It should NOT be done this way however since it makes a mockery of City finances