Salary Increase for Russell Councillors and Mayor

Gabrielle Vinette
Salary Increase for Russell Councillors and Mayor
Mayor Pierre Leroux is happy to be included in the discussion for the $10,000 pay increase. He broke the tie during the meeting to make the new pay retroactive as of the first pay of 2023. (Photo : d'Archives)

The Mayor of Russel Township and municipal councillors voted to increase their salaries by $10,000 after eight consecutive years of stagnating pay.  

During the November 7 regular council meeting, councillors voted to increase their pay retroactively to the beginning of 2023. With the pay increase, all councillors will now be paid $34,000 annually and the mayor $67,000. 

The original discussion for the salary increase was initiated in 2022 and was discussed as part of the 2023 budget. 

After discussion, two councillors, Councillor Jamie Laurin and Councillor Mike Tarnowski voted for the retroactive pay, while two others voted against it, Councillor Lisa Deacon and Councillor Marc Lalonde. In the end, Mayor Pierre Leroux was forced to break the tie and voted in favour retroactive pay, something, he said jokingly, “hasn’t happened in a while.” 

Councillor Laurin explains how they go the $10,000 number by looking at the P50, referring to the market pay position 50 per cent above and below others of the same or similar position across other municipalities. He noticed that the current pay of $24,000 is closer to the 25th percentile, the lowest end of the salary for the job. He comments that there is a loss of interest in those looking to run for councillor and mayor due to the low pay. 

Councillor Laurin suggest that the “administration indexes this item to come back to council in eight-year cycles.” 

“We did this in 2015 and now in 2023. I think an eight-year, or a two-term cycle makes sense,” he said. 

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