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Kawartha Lakes council votes in favour of a salary increase

DAN CEARNS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, for The Standard

KAWARTHA LAKES: The City of Kawartha Lakes council has approved a salary increase for councillors, effective at the start of the next council term.

At a meeting on Tuesday, March 22nd, councillors approved a motion to adjust council members’ salaries, “by the lesser of two [percent] annually or the increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI),” effective at the start of the 2022-2026 term of council.

At the meeting, councillors saw a staff report with three options. The first was to keep the status quo of a one percent bump in wages per year. The second was to adjust council salaries, annually, based on the Consumer Price Index. The third option was to set council salary increases to two percent per year.

“No matter what we do, it comes down to us; about what the remuneration for council [will be],” Ward 3 Councillor Doug Elmslie said. “It would be nice if there was a third party who dictated it, but unfortunately, there’s not. And, of course, whenever we do something, we will be criticized for it because it’s a salary and it’s [for] council.”

While noting “the best option is Option Three,” Councillor Elmslie moved to have council salaries be increased by the lesser of the CPI or two percent.

Ward 5 Councillor Pat Dunn described Councillor Elmslie’s motion as “a compromise.”

Ward 6 Councillor Ron Ashmore disagreed with the motion, stating he thinks the salary increases should be “kept at one percent.”

“I know I didn’t go into this job asking for raises every year,” Councillor Ashmore said. “It infuriates people when we spend time on this. Me personally, it’s fine the way it is, even without a raise.”

In a recorded vote, Councillor Elmslie’s motion passed 7 to 2. The two councillors who voted against the motion were Councillor Ashmore and Ward 1 Councillor Emmett Yeo.

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