Parksville city council unanimously passed a pay increase for the next council elected.
At previous meetings, the topic drew criticism from the gallery.
“I ask council to reconsider this evening,” said former mayor Paul Reitsma.
Speaking as a delegation at the beginning of the Aug. 15 meeting, he echoed the sentiment of several people who spoke on the issue.
He said there are too many families suffering in the current economic climate and “council should follow, not lead the private sector,” in terms of wages.
“A $2,000 increase per year wouldn’t cover the cost of gas,” defended Al Greir, known as the most frugal councillor.
Having missed the previous debates over the stipend increase, Greir said that with an election in November the city needs to attract the best, most experienced people they can to run for council and added that the current pay is not high enough to entice people who could otherwise be making more money in other fields of endeavor.
He said people have told him they can’t afford to run for council.
Passing final approval last week — as of January 1, 2012 — the mayor’s stipend will increase 16.6 per cent to $33,440 and council will make $13,890 a year, up 18 per cent.
Members of the Parksville council will also receive Consumer Price Index increases in 2013 and 2014 before another review.