Councillor Pay Increases back on the Table

Last May, Council voted against a salary increase for themselves with a vote of 4 to 3 but last week,  Nicole Beatty gave a notice of Motion that the issue should be reconsidered.  So at last night’s regular Council meeting it was on the Agenda. To be considered, a two-thirds majority was needed which would be 5 of the 7 councillors but it so happened that Mayor John Henderson was late to arrive because he was “dropping the puck” at the Cougar’s opening game at the Cobourg Community Centre.  In his absence, two thirds was four of the six at the meeting and the motion to reconsider passed 4-2. (See voting details below). 

Nicole Beatty originally voted against an increase but at Monday’s meeting said that “a new perspective has come to light” (without elaborating) and presented the motion.

Nicole Beatty
Nicole Beatty presenting motion

Before a final vote was taken Emily Chorley moved an amendment that the Police board remuneration should be removed from the motion and simply considered during budget deliberations.  At that point, Mayor John Henderson joined the meeting and Emily’s motion passed 4-3 (voting details below).

Suzanne Séguin reminded everyone that the motion being considered included the phrase “pending approval in the 2020 operating budget” so there is another opportunity to vote on this issue.

Councillor Burchat said that a third party review was needed and was not in favour of Council over-ruling the Ad Hoc Committee that had been originally setup.

Brian Darling was “very uncomfortable” with voting for an increase during the current term of office.

John Henderson said he wanted more comparison with other municipalities.

Motion re Council remuneration

Here is the motion (after amendment) that was passed.

That Council set the salary for members of Council as follows effective January 1, 2020 and pending approval in the 2020 Operating Budget:

  • that the position of Mayor be set at $48,100;
  • that the position of Deputy Mayor be set at $38,480;
  • that the position of Municipal Councillor be set at $33,670; and

FURTHER THAT a formal review of Council remuneration takes place in the third year of every Council’s term of office by a method of Council’s choosing and

FURTHER that the Police Services Board Remuneration is reviewed during the 2020 budget deliberations and is no longer calculated as a percentage of the salary established for Town of Cobourg Councillors.

Voting Details

Councillor Motion to
Amendment Motion
Nicole Beatty For For For
Aaron Burchat Against Against Against
Adam Bureau For For For
Emily Chorley For For For
Brian Darling Against Against Against
John Henderson Absent Against Against
Suzanne Séguin For For For

Both the Motion to Re-consider and the final motion were recorded votes.

See the links below for more of the history of this issue.


Print Article: 


Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
manfred s
4 years ago

as the world changes, so too should our political methods and procedures such as this one. What if Councillor remuneration were determined by making it a function of the municipal budget value, like in a formula that is applied to the total budget, modified by various factors such as provincial and federal subsidies, etc. The total remuneration would be determined by the municipality’s financial health and budgetary proficiency that way and the distribution of the total amount would be by a percentage allocation. No more voting, no more unsavoury optics, no more guesswork. The temptation to pad the budget would be greatly tempered by the fact that the budget determines the taxes to be levied and that’s where the political pressure is applied, as it should be.

Reply to  manfred s
4 years ago

That appears to be the intent Manfred – put it into the Budget. But you have to determine the baseline first – that’s what the three highest monied members of Council voted against – a decent baseline!

Reply to  manfred s
4 years ago

A simpler suggestion than Manfred’s:
Pay Councillors a small percentage of the year-to-year reduction in the levy. If no levy reduction then no pay increase.

We have to get Cobourg taxes under control!

4 years ago

it was a Battle Ha! I was there — the moral discussion was immense ha ha — in the end they all took the $$$$
probably well deserved
I wish the Canadian Govt. would give the seniors the same cost of living increases
to their CPP & OAC that way Andrew Sheer would have to work so Hard at pretending he can control
cost and there for leave more money back in Canadian pockets .

Reply to  perplexed
4 years ago

When was the last time that any of us could vote ourselves an increase in salary? E’nuff said.

Walter Luedtke
Reply to  cornbread
4 years ago

Run for Council and you can do it too.

Reply to  perplexed
4 years ago

Who he?

4 years ago

Sounds like the Mayor dropped the ball, not the puck.

Reply to  Frenchy
4 years ago

Unless he planned it that way.
Knowing that the yes vote would carry by 2/3’s if he wasn’t there, he gets the pay increase but didn’t have to show the public that he voted for it.

Reply to  Frenchy
4 years ago

Or Deputy Mayor Seguin planned it that way.

Canuck Patriot
Reply to  CobourgPerson
4 years ago

Your comment makes no sense.

Reply to  Canuck Patriot
4 years ago

Either scenario makes total sense. Whether one of them was in play… we’ll never know.