News

Regional District of Nanaimo directors debate their compensation package

After an area director noticed some financial inconsistencies, recommendations from the remuneration committee were thrown back to RDN staff for revision.

At Tuesday night's RDN meeting, director Alec McPherson, who represents Cedar, pointed out that the remuneration committee used "information that isn't current" in its report, which put forward seven suggestions, including one to axe compensation for additional meeting attendance.

"They (the remuneration board) did not use correct information," said McPherson, who created his own report, plugging in updated numbers to compare the RDN's pay for directors with other regional districts in the province. McPherson sent his report out to fellow board members but would not provide a copy to The NEWS when requested.

McPherson, who has a history in corporate accounting, concluded in his report that RDN directors would only receive a total remuneration of 69.2 per cent of what directors get on boards of similar size. He said getting rid of additional meeting compensation was "a huge issue."

RDN CAO Paul Thorkelsson said electoral area directors attend more meetings because "they have significantly more local issues being the single representative for their area."

"I probably have 80 additional meetings," said MacPherson. "Under the proposed motion I'd take a hit and I'm not the only one."

MacPherson made a motion, which was passed, to refer the issue to RDN staff to revise the remuneration committee's analysis based on retaining payment for individual meetings.

He said in the future he would like to see an independent consultant undertake a remuneration report.

RDN chair Joe Stanhope reminded directors that remuneration issues should be sorted out before the upcoming election slated for Nov. 15.

RDN staff will bring forward their revised report at the next committee of the whole meeting Sept. 9.

The remuneration committee is made up of an unpaid board, which includes former RDN director and former Parksville mayor Sandy Herle. The RDN has established a protocol of reviewing board remuneration and expense reimbursement rates every term in the year of local government elections. The rates established by the board are effective once the new board is sworn in at the inaugural meeting Dec. 9.

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