View Royal approved a raise with 4-1 vote
In the final weeks before View Royal council will dissolve and reform with an expanded slate of seven, the current councillors approved an increase to remuneration, to take effect in 2023.
September 20, 2022
The increase will cost taxpayers $80,442 annually, including the addition of two new councillors. The mayor will make $44,687, an increase of $10,996, and councillors will make $22,343, an increase of $6,190.
Coun. Ron Mattson unsuccessfully advocated for only a smaller cost-of-living increase and for a public referendum on raises, and voted against the larger final increase. He argued that the job is not very time-intensive, noting that back when he started as a councillor in his 30s he also worked full time and coached baseball. He made a similar argument against increasing council size last December.
View Royal is not alone in increasing its own pay; it’s a conflicted situation that every council faces, given the lack of hard guidelines in the province, something Capital Daily recently investigated.
Sooke and Colwood also voted to increase remuneration for the next term.
Two councillors get UBCM recognition
Couns. Mattson and John Rogers were both recently awarded certificates of appreciation from the Union of BC Municipalities conference last week in recognition of long and faithful service for their years on View Royal’s council. Mattson has served for 23 years (with a two-term break in the middle), and Rogers has served for 26.
All five of View Royal’s councillors have registered to run for re-election. New candidates include Sid Tobias for mayor and Don Brown, Judy Estrin, and Allison MacKenzie for council.
Fire engine replacement cost has risen
Tonight, View Royal will hold its last meeting for this term. On the agenda is an ask from the fire department to increase its budget to replace a 1992 fire engine. The new truck will cost $1,353,402.34 (after a GST rebate), which is $280,000 more than anticipated when council initially agreed to the equipment budget in 2018.
Fire Chief Paul Hurst wrote in his report that, “There are no alternatives to replacing this vehicle. The life of this particular fire engine was extended beyond its serviceable viability and needs to be replaced with a modern, reliable truck.” The funds will come from Elements Casino tax revenue, which is shared between Westshore municipalities.
View Royal’s CAO reported there will be no properties up for sale as a result of delinquent taxes this year. Staff worked throughout the summer to connect with any property owners who were late, and all cases were resolved.