Bestwick calls for report on council renumeration

Nanaimo city council wants to explore how councillors get paid for their work on committees and commissions.

Nanaimo city council wants to explore how councillors get paid for their work on committees and commissions.

Under the current structure, councillors are paid $26,414 annually for their work, which includes all participation in various posts.

Coun. Bill Bestwick presented a motion Monday asking staff to prepare a report exploring the possibility of “providing a reasonable compensation” for time spent at committee and commission meetings. He indicated he would bring the motion forward at an In Camera meeting on May 16.

Council passed the motion 8-1 with Coun. Bill Holdom voting against it.

“I don’t want this to be perceived as a back door way of increasing our pay,” said Holdom, who later apologized for the term. “We are provided annual regular pay and earn it through participating.”

Bestwick said he wants to explore a renumeration system employed by the Regional District of Nanaimo, which provides a base salary for directors and additional payment based on the amount of participation on committees and commissions.

“This isn’t intended to be a back door anything,” said Bestwick. “It’s just a report.”

City manager Al Kenning said he is unaware of any B.C. municipalities that provide stipends to councillors beyond their regular pay for committee or commission participation.

Currently, mayor and city councillors participate on 26 committees and commissions that require more than 60 council member posts.