ELECTIONS 2010: How much can successful politicians earn?

Some people claim local politicians are overpaid, while others stress their salaries are a bargain for the amount of work involved in the position.


Without prejudice to that debate, included herein are what candidates can be expected to make if they are elected on Oct. 25.

The successful candidates for Wellington County council can expect to be paid close to $30,000 for the office they hold.

It cost taxpay­ers $690,685  in 2009 to pay salaries, benefits and other costs of county council. The 16-member council had a total salary of $501,253, total benefits of $82,325 and total expenses of $107,107.

The warden was paid $76,953. That is broken down into a salary of $51,302, and $25,651 in a municipal allow­ance that is considered inci­dental to the duties of warden. The total salary and benefits were $86,338, and expenses of $19,781, for a total of $106,120.

One third of council pay is considered expenses incident to the discharge of duties and thus is tax free.

Benefits in the report were deemed to include the em­ployer portion of Ontario Municipal Employees Retire­ment System (OMERS) and the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), as well as dental and extended health coverage. Not all coun­cillors received the same amount in benefits.

The remaining councillors re­ceived a salary of $28,286, with varying benefits costs that rand from $4,026 to $5,823. As well, councillors are paid their expenses for various conventions and mileage.

Of course, for the mayors of the seven lower tier municipalities, their county council pay is over and above what they are paid as the head of their local councils.

Centre Wellington

In 2009 in Centre Well­ington, the mayor was paid a salary of $25,038.

As well, all seven councillors are paid for attending committee meetings, and those can vary widely, depending on how many committees a councillors takes part in.

The range in 2009 was Walt Visser’s $5,700 for 11 committees, to Shawn Watters’ low amount of $1,100.

As acting-mayor in the ab­sence of Ross-Zuj, Visser was paid a salary of $18,361. Coun­cillors were each paid a salary of $16,692.

Salaries are adjusted annually, depending on the increase council gives its employees.


In Erin, the total remuneration and expenses paid to five councillors in 2009 was $96,387.

The mayor was paid  $23,998 in pay, plus $3,693 in expenses, for a total of $27,691.

Base pay for councillors ranged from $13,441 to $13,946, with expenses ranging from $2,235 to $3,943.


Guelph-Eramosa’s five  coun­cillors were paid a tot­al of $89,693 in remuneration and expenses for 2009.

The mayor was paid a total of $39,832,  including $14,913 in sal­ary, $17,645 in additional meetings (not council) and $7,274 in expenses.

Base pay for councillors was $9,942 in 2009, although one councillor made just $8,942 due to many absences from regular council meetings. Councillor expenses ranged from zero to $1,818.


In Mapleton, the total remuneration and expenses paid to five councillors in 2009 was $76,647.

The mayor made a total of $19,359, while councillors made $13,986 to $14,998.

The numbers vary because of different amounts paid for meetings (other than council), conventions, seminars, registration fees, hotels, mileage, park­ing, meals and other ex­penses.

The mayor’s base pay last year was $14,973, while councillors were paid $11,646 each. Additional pay for other meetings, conventions and seminars, registration fees, hotels, mileage and all other expenses ranged from $1,866 to $4,144.


Council costs neared the $140,000 in 2009. Minto has  seven councillors. In 2008, the total cost was $118,560.

The mayor had a base salary of $11,440 plus extra pay for attendance equal to that. The deputy-mayor has a base pay of $9,440 with per diem payments to more than doubling that.

Councillors had base sal­aries of $8,440 and in 2009 committee work costs ranged from $3,255 to $7,670.

When the Minto figures were accepted by council earlier this year, Mayor David Anderson  commented that high per diem payments were a result of numerous special meetings dealing with grant applications.


Puslinch council received a total of $98,582 in remu­neration and ex­penses in 2009.

The mayor received $27,208 last year, including $23,423 in remu­neration and 3,785 in expenses.

Totals for the other four councillors ranged from $14,837 to $22,548. Base pay for councillors ranged from $13,258 to $20,190, while expenses ranged from $1,157 to $2,358.

In addition to regular council meetings, the above figures included pay for councillors’ roles on the township’s adjustment, planning and advisory and recreation committees, as well as the local source water protection committee.

Wellington North

Including salaries, mileage, and conventions, the total pay to While Wellington North council in 2009 was $119,940 – although the budget was set at $127,663.

In 2008, the five-member council costs were $115,420.

Even though 2009 councillor salaries (including per diem payments) of $103,219 were under the budgeted amount of $109,663, it was still over payments of $100,797 in 2008.

Councillors’ pay includes a base salary, meeting per day payments, mileage, and conventions and workshops.

In Wellington North, the base salary for mayor was $16,389, but he earned an al­most equal amount for attendance at council and committee meetings.

For councillors, the base rate of pay is $10,926, with ad­ditional per diem payments for members varying from $4,125 to $8,925. Again, those figures do not include mileage, conventions or workshops.

*Please note: All the figures are from 2009. The 2010 annual salaries, while not yet officially disclosed, will likely be higher.