RDN directors get pay hike starting next year

RDN directors get pay hike starting next year

Review shows board’s remuneration lags behind similar local governments’

  • Dec. 18, 2017 8:48 a.m.

Regional District of Nanaimo directors gave themselves a nice Christmas gift in the form of a pay raise starting in the new year.

An independent consultant has assessed that the Regional District of Nanaimo’s director remuneration is lower than that in comparable regional districts. Kathy Sainas of Sainas Consult Inc, which conducted an idependent compensation review, recommended adjustments to the RDN directors’ wages.

The consultant reviewed six municipalities endorsed by the RDN board — the City of Kelowna, City of Nanaimo, City of Kamloops, City of Prince George, Corporation of Delta and District of North Vancouver. Comparisons were also made to three regional districts — Capital Regional District, Cowichan Valley Regional District and Comox Valley Regional District.

The RDN is the fourth-largest regional district in the province, serving 155,698 residents from seven electoral areas and four municipal governments. The current board of directors is comprised of 19 members, up from 17 prior to November of 2017. It includes 12 directors from four municipal governments, and seven directors from the electoral areas.

The current board’s remuneration was set in 2014 and went up in accordance with the increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The board decided to have an independent consultant conduct a review to ensure equity and to attract more candidates for the next election in the fall of 2018.

Currently, directors are 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 proposed increase will be applied in two phases. The first increase comes on Jan. 1, 2018, with the base compensation going up to $15,000, with rural directors to receive additional $14,000 and the chairman an additional $38,000. The second phase will be impelemented in November, following the 2018 municipal elections, with both base rate and electoral area compensation scheduled to increase to $17,000, while chairperson remuneration will increase to $48,000.

The board approved the pay raise at its regular meeting on December 12. RDN Chair Bill Veenhof said the current rates won’t work in the long run and that the adjusted remuneration may attract new politicians.

“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.”

Qualicum Beach Director and Mayor Teunis Westbroek, Nanaimo Director Jerry Hong and Parksville Director Kirk Oates voted against it.

Westbroek said money should not be the motivation for candidates to serve. It should be the desire 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.

Electoral Area A director Alex McPherson, who represents around 7,500 residents, commented on the amount of work and time required of him to do his job.

“This is as close as I have been to having a full-time job,” said McPherson, who added that he didn’t run for office for the money. “I had no idea that this would be a significant time commitment as it turned out to be. I am now at the end of my second term and if I knew that it was going to take this much time, I probably would say, no I don’t think I’d do it. And that is really unfortunate.”

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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Patricia Taylor and Debra Strut at the Salvation Army on Friday, Nov. 27, handing out winter boots and gift bags to those in need. Taylor says they'll be back until all her supplies are gone.(Mandy Moraes photo)
Parksville residents distribute gifts and winter boots in Salvation Army parking lot

‘I’m hoping to open the eyes of the community to realize that everybody has value’

Qualicum Beach resident Harold MacDougall won $75,000 off a Casino Royale II Scratch & Win ticket, purchased the ticket at Qualicum Foods on Memorial Avenue. (BCLC photo)
Qualicum Beach man $75K richer thanks to scratch-and-win ticket windfall

MacDougall plans on trips to Cape Breton and Scotland

Regional District of Nanaimo will be receiving $1.17 million from the B.C. government in COVID-19 safe restart grant money. (News Bulletin file)
Regional District of Nanaimo directors getting started on budgeting decisions

Proposed tax requisitions for 2021 range from 7.3-per cent increase to 2.2-per cent decrease

David Darmadi, owner of Kalvas - The Log House restaurant, is offering a sweet initiative for SOS. Guests can bring in a new, unwrapped gift or financial donation for SOS, and receive a free dessert. (Lissa Alexander photo)
Sweet initiative to support Parksville Qualicum Beach residents

‘A lot of our guests are very generous and they want to help out’

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement forecasting windy weather Sunday and Monday. (News Bulletin file photo)
More windy weather on the way for Vancouver Island

Environment Canada issues special weather statement for Victoria, east coast of Island, north Island

(Dave Landine/Facebook)
VIDEO: Dashcam captures head-on crash between snowplow and truck on northern B.C. highway

Driver posted to social media that he walked away largely unscathed

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Top doctor urges Canadians to limit gatherings as ‘deeply concerning’ outbreaks continue

Canada’s active cases currently stand at 63,835, compared to 53,907 a week prior

A Canadian Pacific freight train travels around Morant’s Curve near Lake Louise, Alta., on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths along the railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed is one of the biggest factors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

Research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and ability of wildlife to see trains

A airport worker is pictured at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada extends COVID restrictions for non-U.S. travellers until Jan. 21 amid second wave

This ban is separate from the one restricting non-essential U.S. travel

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
B.C. care home looks to hire residents’ family members amid COVID-19-related staff shortage

Family would get paid as temporary workers, while having chance to see loved ones while wearing PPE

A man walks by a COVID-19 test pod at the Vancouver airport in this undated handout photo. A study has launched to investigate the safest and most efficient way to rapidly test for COVID-19 in people taking off from the Vancouver airport. The airport authority says the study that got underway Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area is the first of its kind in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vancouver Airport Authority *MANDATORY CREDIT*
COVID-19 rapid test study launches at Vancouver airport for departing passengers

Airport authority says that a positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19

A small crash in the water south of Courtenay Saturday afternoon. Two men had to be rescued, but reports indicate there were no serious injuries. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Small plane crash in Comox Valley waters Saturday afternoon

Two rescued from plane that had flipped in water; no serious injuries reported

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

Most Read