The next Kamloops City council will be getting a double-digit raise if the recommendations of the remuneration task force are accepted Tuesday.
The seven volunteers have submitted their report to council and it is included in the Tuesday council agenda.
The report recommends the next mayor of Kamloops is worth 90 per cent of whatever is paid to those in Delta, Langley township, Victoria, North Vancouver district, Abbotsford, Maple Ridge, Saanich, Port Coquitlam, Nanaimo, Chilliwack, Prince George, Kamloops, Coquitlam and Kelowna.
The amount would be calculated by removing the highest and lowest figures from the 14 towns, and averaging the remaining 12.
It also suggests councillors should earn 40 per cent of what the mayor does, but offer no extra compensation for deputy mayor duties. Currently those who are deputy mayor do get some extra money.
That would put Mayor Peter Milobar at $85,754 from his current $74,434 (15 per cent more) and councillors at $34,301 where they now get $24,811 (38 per cent more).
Even at that rate, the report says, Milobar would be lower than the other 13 comparable cities and councillors would be the sixth lowest.
But there are other options recommended, including setting councillor's pay at 35 per cent or 37.5 per cent of the mayor's rate instead of 40 per cent (it's currently at 33 per cent).
The average of the 14 communities surveyed is 38.9 per cent of the mayor's salary for councillors.
Brant Hasanen, task force chair, 60 per cent of respondents said they were comfortable with council members being paid in the middle of the pack.
"But council's appetite is more to be at the bottom. So that's why we used 90 per cent for the mayor and 35 to 40 per cent of the mayor's for the councillors," he said Friday.
"The compensation for choosing and being elected to serve a community can't be a disincentive. If the pay is too low, we're seriously limiting the number of people willing to put their names forward."
The task force put about 140 hours into coming up with its formulas and supported the recommendation to council unanimously.
The total additional cost of the remuneration pay for taxpayers would be $87,243, or $1.65 for an average homeowner.
The new pay rates would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2015, after the November 2014 municipal election.
Increases would follow on Jan. 1, 2016, and subsequent years. The formula for adjustment would look at that 90 per cent rate.
If the mayor's pay was less than 90 per cent, a raise would be based on double the Consumer Price Index for Vancouver for the previous year.
If it was between 90 and 100 per cent of the average, the increase would be the CPI rate and if more than 100 per cent of the average, there would be no increase.
The report also recommends the mayor continue to get the same medical, dental and other benefits as senior City staff.
Councillors would also be offered the chance to opt into those benefits if they pay half the monthly premiums for themselves, and 100 per cent for family members.
The $75 monthly communications allowance that councillors get would be scrapped, and they would be given a City-issued cellphone and laptop or tablet computer.
Finally, the group suggested another task force be struck in 2022 to do a review of council remuneration and benefits.
Coun. Nancy Bepple, who started the ball rolling on the remuneration review, said the increase would give councillors the opportunity to put in the time required to do the job.
"For councillors that might be retired and on a pension, that might not be a concern. But most councillors who are of working age have to do at least some other job to make a living," she said.
"It enables someone like myself to take away a sufficient amount of time to do a job that City council deserves. And especially for the mayor — Kamloops has become a more and more influential city within the province for setting policy and ensuring cities have a voice at the table."
She noted Milobar sits on the board of B.C. Transit and has been involved with looking at RCMP contracts.
The proposed increases put the remuneration at rates that are similar to what other communities are paying, she said.
"It's being able to afford being a city councilor," said Bepple, who is on a half-time leave from her job at Thompson Rivers University.