Hawkesbury council approved an increase in the salary paid to councillors when it met on Tuesday, November 14.
At the October 10 council meeting, Councillor Yves Paquette had proposed increasing the amount each regular councillor is paid by $3,250, retroactive to January 1, 2023. Under the bylaw approved by council on November 14, each councillor will be paid $22,131.35 for attending council meetings. The mayor’s yearly compensation will not change and remain at $46,744. It was last increased by 25 per cent in 2019.
Paquette had initially presented the case for increasing the remuneration of councillors due to the extra responsibilities they are upholding, Hawkesbury’s council remuneration was lower than other municipalities, and the fact no increase had been approved in Hawkesbury during the previous four-year term.
Hawkesbury has six councillors, elected at large. There is one councillor for about every 1,699 residents.
The only dissenting vote on approving the increase in what councillors are paid came from Councillor Jeanne Charlebois. She opposes making the increase retroactive to January 1, 2023.
“The year is finished, the work’s been done,” Charlebois said.
She also disagrees with increasing what councillors are paid based on comparisons with other municipalities.
“It’s not good to look at other places,” Charlebois remarked.