Kelowna Metropolis employees to research mayor’s pay, advantages, pension

On Monday, council agreed to give further reading to bylaw amendments related to extended health benefits for the 2022-2026 council term.

The amendments included aligning the extended benefits with best practices laid out by the BC Urban Mayors’ Caucus (BCUMC) in an effort to reflect and compensate elected officials for the time needed to perform their duties.

A few text amendments clarified that all members of council will be able to participate in the benefit package with the premiums paid for by the city. They can choose to enter into the program in its entirety or they can choose not to participate, given that they receive benefits from other employment.

Councilor Sieben said that he was in support of the decision and thought that it was long overdue.

“I think it’s important to note that any council, of the present or the future, may have different people on it. Some that likely will have benefits through their other positions, such as myself, that won’t utilize something like this, but there’s those that don’t,” he explained.

Councilor Given agreed that this is an important decision for future councils and voiced her support.

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<p>Councilor Singh stressed the importance of explaining that this benefits package will not apply to Kelowna’s current council and it is being approved for future council members. </p>
<p>The benefits would include extended health, dental, life and would be available to all members of the council and their dependents with an estimated cost of about $50,000 if all members chose to make use of the optional benefit package.</p>
<p>Councilor Sieben spoke up a second time to propose a motion to direct staff to investigate the benefit packages and pensions for Kelowna’s mayor.</p>
<p>“That is the one position that is full-time and would be for a mayor position of the future,” Sieben explained.</p>
<p>He said he would be interested to see what other municipalities were doing to compensate mayors.  He said that not all mayors enter into the role after a long career in business or related fields and have a readily available pension.</p>
<p>Council voted in favor of directing staff to investigate what other communities were doing to remunerate their mayors in order to ensure Kelowna is “equitably” remunerating future mayors.</p>
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