Friday, February 10, 2006

Richter Report - February 9, 2006

Should Council salaries be discussed “Behind Closed Doors”?

It seems to me that this question has been asked before and resolved before. (I know that I’ve raised it on more than one occasion during my past 6-year tenure on Council).

If you go to the Township’s website and search Council Minutes, you will find a long history of discussion about Council remuneration dating back to 1992. All of this has been done in the public meetings of Council, and rightfully so. Just like Council reviews staff’s salaries, the community should review Council’s salaries. Community review obviously has to occur in public BEFORE Council makes a binding decision.

So, imagine my surprise when I opened my new Council Agenda package tonight and discovered that Council’s remuneration is slated to be discussed by Council behind closed doors on Monday.

I’m confused because it’s a matter of public record that Council got a pay raise on December 1, 2005. (See page 2 of the Minutes for the Regular Meeting of Township Council on August 25, 2003). Why would Council need another pay increase 2 months after the last one? And, why does Council have to discuss this in secret?

This must be a mistake. I’m sure it will be corrected by Monday. And, if it’s not, I’ll let you know.

Kim Richter is in her 3rd term as Langley Township Councillor and also is a Professor of Business at Kwantlen University College. She holds a masters degree in health administration and was a health care management consultant.

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