West Kelowna councillor Doug Findlater is against extended benefits being part of council’s compensation package. (Photo/City of West Kelowna)

West Kelowna councillor Doug Findlater is against extended benefits being part of council’s compensation package. (Photo/City of West Kelowna)

West Kelowna councillor balks at benefits package for ‘honour to serve’

“I am absolutely opposed to the process of creeping benefits into the program”

A West Kelowna councillor is still unhappy that extended health benefits are part of a proposed new compensation package for council.

In June, a community task force recommended the mayor’s salary be raised from the current $76,203 to $88,240, and councillor salaries from $25,439 to $30,884.

The report also recommended optional extended health, dental, and employee family assistance benefits should be offered. The city would cover 100 per cent of the monthly premium for the mayor’s position and 50 per cent for councillors.

“I am absolutely opposed to the process of creeping benefits into the program,” said Coun. Doug Findlater. “It’s not that kind of job, it’s an honour to serve.”

Findlater suggested that the province needs to look at compensation for municipal councils and come up with a framework. On the other side of the fence, Coun. Carol Zanon said she is in favour of benefits.

“It isn’t a freebie,” said Zanon. “It’s an opportunity for those who don’t have a program elsewhere. This is fair and they are paying a portion of it.”

Council gave unanimous three readings to proposed changes to the remuneration, expenses, and benefits bylaw.

Final approval is expected in the coming weeks, and the new compensation package would take effect Jan. 1, 2023.

Read More: West Kelowna mayor anxious for new city hall to be built

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@GaryBarnes109
gary.barnes@kelownacapnews.com

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