EDITORIAL: Full-time mayors

The mayor's position in Parksville and Qualicum Beach is a full-time gig paying part-time wages

If your default position is we already spend too much money on the salaries of municipal politicians, you won’t enjoy the following train of thought.

Municipalities must file what’s called a Statement of Financial Information with the province by June 30 each year. Those documents include information about the salaries and expenses of both staff and politicians.

In 2013, Parksville Mayor Chris Burger was paid $33,573.73 plus $4,902.88 for expenses. Qualicum Beach Mayor Teunis Westbroek received $22,983 in pay, plus $11,491 in expenses. Westbroek was also reimbursed for $11,797 in expenses, which pushed his grand total to $46,271.

Make no mistake, being mayor of either community is a full-time job and from what we’ve witnessed, both of these mayors work full-time hours while basically being paid part-time wages.

We understand some people would not agree $37,000 or $47,000 is a part-time wage. Fair enough, but when you consider these mayors are essentially in charge of a number of staff who make more than $100,000/year, something seems out of whack. Also consider what’s asked of these mayors and the heat they receive every day from members of the public and a prying, competitive media.

While we aren’t privy to how their personal lives work, we do know Burger has both a young family and a business, a busy country store also known as Sasquatch Central in Meadowood. We also don’t know yet if he intends to run again in November, but it would not be shocking to see him bow out to better serve his family and business, especially considering the next term is for four years.

There are at least a couple of legitimate ways to view compensation for the mayors of these communities (we don’t believe there needs to be any increased compensation for councillors). One suggests the job should not be something one pursues for money, that it’s basically some kind of public service position. The other suggests better candidates, ones with experience running multi-million-dollar business — essentially what these municipalities are — would come out of the woodwork if the job paid a reasonable, CEO-type salary.

We don’t believe there is an appetite in Parksville Qualicum Beach to pay something like $75,000/year for full-time mayors. If that’s true, we best lower our expectations in relation to both the candidates who would be attracted and the amount of work we expect these people to perform.

— Editorial by John Harding

Just Posted

Parksville’s mystery cowboy revealed

Kevin Gourlay’s horse garners attention for being ‘parked’ outside a liquor store

Qualicum man sentenced for tying up, robbing another man

Gabriel Stephen Nelson robbed and assaulted travelling businessman in 2017

Parksville man ‘parks’ horse during liquor store pit stop

As long as animal wasn’t jaywalking, no problem, says city official

Parksville roundtable highlights need for affordable housing, recreation

Mayor Ed Mayne held facilitated event in January to hear visions for city, council

After mosque attacks, New Zealand bans ‘military-style’ guns

The gunman killed 50 in a Christchurch mosque

Okanagan man, Yorkshire terrier chased by coyote

Animal sightings have been reported around West Kelowna and the Central Okanagan

Having phone within sight while driving does not violate law: B.C. judge

The mere presence of a cell phone within sight of a driver is not enough for a conviction, judge says

B.C. lottery winner being sued by Surrey co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

Pot industry welcomes decreased edibles tax, but unhappy medical tax remains

Taxes can increase the cost of medical cannabis by as much as 25 per ceny

‘It has to send a message:’ Broncos families await sentencing for truck driver

Jaskirat Singh Sidhu pleaded guilty to 29 counts of dangerous driving and apologized in court

MPs continue voting marathon as Tories protest shutdown of Wilson-Raybould motion

Multiple MPs have resigned from Trudeau’s Liberal cabinet

Canucks hang on for 7-4 win over Senators

Horvat nets 2 for Vancouver

European, Canadian regulators to do own review of Boeing jet

Air Canada plans to remove the Boeing 737 Max from its schedule at least through July 1

Most Read