The Regional District of Nanaimo board of directors passed bylaws ahead of the municipal election that will increase director compensation in the next term.
All directors will see their base remuneration rate of $11,855 a year increased in line with the Consumer Price Index starting the first board meeting after the Nov. 15 election.
The board chairperson will receive an additional $19,500 annually while electoral area directors will receive an additional $10,985 a year with no price index adjustment this year.
Base remuneration will cover up to four regularly scheduled meetings and up to one additional information seminar a month, according to the regional district.
The board vice-chairperson will receive $160 per meeting when substituting for the chairperson and committee chairpersons will receive $110 for every meeting chaired.
Committee vice-chairpersons will receive $85 for every meeting chaired.
Alternates, taking the place of directors, will be compensated with $80 for every meeting they attend and $70 will be provided to board members for select, scheduled standing, advisory standing, information meetings and public hearings attended.
Consumer Price Adjustment updates will be made every year after 2014.
A motion for remuneration revision was before the board in late August but Area A director Alec McPherson proposed a motion to refer it back to staff in order to include additional meeting compensation for directors.
He said electoral area directors have a heavier workload than their municipal counterparts, who are appointed, and was satisfied with the changes.
“For whatever reason, politicians in particular are very sensitive about moving in larger steps and this particular region has been very conservative, I guess, over the years to the point that they’ve fallen way behind … what we would call their peer group.
“People are hesitant, it comes just before the election … they get a little bit antsy about it and they don’t move to where it probably should go to reflect at least some of how much work is involved,” McPherson said, adding he has 7,300 constituents in his area as well as Nanaimo Airport.
A motion was also passed that will see an independent consultant review regional district remuneration prior to the 2018 municipal election.