In response to the Federal Government's decision to eliminate a one-third non-taxable allowance for municipal officials, many municipalities are increasing indemnities. The RM of Stanley is one of those municipalites.
Council gave first reading to a new indemnity by-law which would see the following rates paid: Reeve $17,797, Deputy Reeve $13,022, Councillor $12,570, and per meeting allowances will increase to $250/day, $125/half- day.
Morris Olafson, Reeve for the RM, says this is to compensate for the loss of the Federal allowance and a quota increase; the total gain is approximately 14 percent.
"It's catch-up if you can call it that. We'll probably keep our indemnities the same for the next four years give or take, there might be some minor adjustments along the way."
Olafson believes the increases aren't thoughtless and is compensation for the work council puts in.
"At some points, it can get pretty full; it's pretty easy to rack up 100 to 150 meetings a year... When you talk about going away for a day, if you have to leave your business and or your job, I can say every time I have to leave somewhere it's half a day shot."
For someone who has to take an afternoon off work, the return has to be worth the time invested, Olafson says.
Second and third readings of the by-law will proceed in January making the indemnity adjustments retroactive to January 1, 2019.