Regional District of Nanaimo directors are set for a pay hike in the new year. (News Bulletin file)

RDN board approves pay raise for regional directors

Raise will come in two phases in January and then November

The Regional District of Nanaimo’s board has approved a pay raise in time for the new year.

According to a staff report, directors are currently compensated with a base rate of $13,962. Rural area directors receive an additional $11,532 and the board chairman an additional $20,471.

The district will implement the first of a two-phase increase in January, when directors will receive base compensation of $15,000, rural directors an additional $14,000 and the chairman an additional $38,000. In November, after municipal elections, both base rate and electoral area compensation will increase to $17,000, while chairperson remuneration will increase to $48,000.

Remuneration monies come from legislative services and electoral area administration tax requisitions and Phase 1 will cost an estimated $95,000 annually, while the second phase is estimated at $69,000 annually.

The previous board requested a review prior to the 2018 election and Sainas Consult Inc. was enlisted to compile a report comparing similar-sized districts, including Cowichan Valley Regional District, cities of Nanaimo and Kelowna and Corporation of Delta.

Bill Veenhof, RDN board chairman, said he was surprised by where Nanaimo regional district stood. On average, according to the consultant’s report, board chairs who are rural directors receive $71,608, rural area directors, $44,387 and municipal directors, $20,025. The new remuneration represents an average, he said, and the RDN tried to find a balance.

Veenhof also said it may attract new politicians, particularly those who are younger, as he feels current rates aren’t sustainable.

“If they already had a job that they needed to be at, it just wouldn’t work, so you end up with a board of retirees,” said Veenhof. “I’ve got nothing but positive things to say about my board members, but they represent a perspective that doesn’t necessarily fully reflect the community. So I’d really like to see a compensation package that younger people can look at and say, ‘Yeah, I can run and if I get in, I can afford to be a politician,’ and as it is right now, young people cannot do that.”

Directors Teunis Westbroek (Qualicum Beach), Jerry Hong (Nanaimo) and Kirk Oates (Parksville) voted against the remuneration increase-related motion at the RDN Dec. 12 regular meeting.

At the meeting, Westbroek said candidates shouldn’t be attracted for the money, but because they want to contribute to the community.

“I talked to the mayor of Tofino the other day, the mayor of Tofino is a pretty busy girl. I think her stipend is $25,000. I’m not sure how I can justify all these numbers that are in here,” Westbroek said.

Under the new remuneration regime, the vice-chairperson will be compensated $175 for every meeting he or she stands in for the chairperson. Committee chairpeople will be compensated $175 for every meeting they moderate and alternate directors will receive $125 for meetings attended.



reporter@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Karl on Twitter and Instagram.

Just Posted

City of Nanaimo looking at closing two lanes of Front Street, adding bike lanes

City councillors to discuss $400,000 project at finance and audit committee meeting Oct. 16

Vancouver Island cancer patients get new ride to appointments

Qualicum Beach woman donates van to Freemasons’ transportation program

Nanaimo Fire Rescue reviewing potential sites for future fire stations

City’s growing population, infrastructure, traffic congestion prompting study

Nanaimo Mounties want to find owner of riding tack

English-style saddle and boots and blankets found in south Nanaimo

OPINION: The more walkable a city, the more liveable it is

New pedestrian advocacy group, Walk in Nanaimo, being formed

VIDEO: #MeToo leader launches new hashtag to mobilize U.S. voters

Tarana Burke hopes to prompt moderators to ask about sexual violence at next debate

UPDATE: British couple vacationing in Vancouver detained in U.S. after crossing border

CBP claims individuals were denied travel authorization, crossing was deliberate

After losing two baby boys, B.C. parents hope to cut through the taboo of infant death

Oct. 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day in B.C.

Cheating husband sues mistress for gifted ring after wife learns about affair

The husband gave his mistress $1,000 to buy herself a ring in December 2017

B.C. massage therapist reprimanded, fined for exposing patients’ breasts

Registered massage therapist admits professional misconduct

B.C. boosts legal aid funding in new payment contract

‘Duty counsel’ service restored in some communities, David Eby says

Rugby Canada helps recovery efforts in Japan after typhoon cancels final match

Canadian players wanted to “give back in whatever small way they could”

VIDEO: Bear spies on cyclists riding by on Campbell River street

Riders seem unaware the bruin is mere feet away on the side of the road

Two Cowichan Tribes families devastated by duplex fire

Carla Sylvester sat in her vehicle, on Tuesday morning, with tears in… Continue reading

Most Read