Sylvan’s elected officials deserve raise: citizen

Sylvan Lake’s mayor and councillors deserve a raise.

Sylvan Lake’s mayor and councillors deserve a raise.

That’s the opinion expressed by Jordan Sinclair when he spoke at town council’s open microphone session before the regular meeting Jan. 14.

Describing Sylvan Lake as a “great, great town” and a “phenomenal place to live”, he thanked council and the mayor “for all they do”.

“I think you’re way underpaid for what you do,” he continued.

Based on the town’s 2011 financial statement, Mayor Susan Samson made $25,941 in salary and received benefits and allowances of $12,970 for a total of $38,911. Councillor Graham Parsons received the lowest salary at $10,553 with benefits and allowances of $5,276 for a total of $15,829. Councillor Laverne Asselstine was highest at a salary of $13,340 with benefits and allowances of $6,670 for a total of $20,010.

(Benefits and allowances includes employer’s share of all benefits and contributions or payments made on behalf of employees including pension, health care, dental coverage, vision coverage, group life insurance, accidental disability and dismemberment insurance and long and short-term disability plans, states a note in the financial statement.)

Sinclair estimated that based on the salaries and time which is likely spent to do their jobs, the mayor makes about $20 an hour and councillors make about $15 an hour.

“Sylvan Lake is lucky to have people living in the area forever who are willing to do the jobs you do,” said Sinclair.

“You all deserve a raise. From where I stand, the lowest paid employees of the town are the mayor and council.”

Samson thanked him for his comments and noted council has a policy which states that in the year of an election (which is this year) an independent committee is appointed to review the pay scale for council and make recommendations back to council.

Then a decision can be made prior to the election, to take effect when a new council is elected.