For every elected position in North Durham, there have been great and worthy candidates come forward with the goal of representing their neighbours at the council bench, both locally and at Regional Headquarters in Whitby.
Just as the job description for councillors has expanded in recent years, so has their pay. However, it will still take a long time for the pay to catch up with the duties as councillors are still paid less than $30,000 annually for what has become - if done properly, and it’s not always, but that’s why we have elections - a full-time job.
It isn’t without irony that every four years we are asking people to sign up to run for a job that impacts thousands of local residents, and have them dole out millions of dollars in taxpayer money all for less pay than it would take to reasonably expect to be able to afford a home in the municipality they serve.
Compensation for local politicians is always going to be a hot button issue, but until such a time that municipalities can offer more worthwhile pay, aren’t we shortchanging local residents by guaranteeing that many more qualified candidates simply can’t afford to be a full-time councillor?
The pool of candidates is already rich in talented and resourceful people, but it could be so much more.