MINTO – The cost of paying local politicians in Minto decreased by more than $17,000 last year.
On March 16, treasurer Gordon Duff provided a report on council remuneration and expenses for 2020.
The report, an annual requirement under the Municipal Act, shows salary and expenses paid to members of Minto council between Dec. 1, 2019 and Nov. 30, 2020 totalled $148,770.
That’s a decrease of $17,694 (about 10.6%) over the previous 12-month total of $166,464.
Mayor George Bridge received a base salary of $16,921 last year, plus meeting per diems of $11,664, convention and seminar expenses of $2,272 and mileage payments of $270, for a total of $33,611.
Deputy mayor Dave Turton received a base salary of $15,648, plus $2,991 in meeting per diems and $960 for convention and seminar expenses for a total of $19,599.
Payments for councillors were:
- Ron Elliott: base $13,145, per diems $6,698, conventions and seminars $2,930, mileage $299, total $23,071;
- Judy Dirksen: base $13,144, per diems $4,519, conventions and seminars $1,468, mileage $389, total $19,521;
- Jean Anderson: base $13,144, per diems $4,837, conventions and seminars $833, mileage zero, total $18,815;
- Geoff Gunson: base $13,144, per diems $3,729, conventions and seminars $342, mileage zero, total $17,216; and
- Mark MacKenzie: base $13,144, per diems $2,916, conventions and seminars $875, mileage zero, total $16,936.
The report indicates per diem rates are: $60 per council meeting, $98 for specific meetings under four hours and $173 for specific meetings over four hours.
“‘Meeting’ is rigidly defined to include standing and appointed committees, conferences and conventions, and educational sessions as approved by the mayor,” the report notes.
The report also states pandemic-related travel restrictions and reduced opportunities for training and learning contributed greatly to reduced expenditures in 2020.
“We ended up staying close to home and, as a result, there was a cost savings in expenses because either conventions were cancelled or went virtual,” said Duff.
“On a positive view there was some cost savings, but I think, as we all know, we lose a little bit of those relationships, with the chance to meet with colleagues and funders,” he added.
Council received the report as information.