Council cost lowest in five years


South Dundas council cost taxpayers less in 2012 than it has in the last five years.

According to the South Dundas council remuneration and expense report for 2012, released last week by South Dundas treasurer Shannon Geraghty, council cost taxpayers $91,510 in 2012. 

That number includes each council member’s honourarium, remuneration for meetings attended, mileage claims and conference/trade show expenses.  

That’s more than $16,000 less than 2011, and the lowest number since 2006, when it was $84,000.

Each member of council’s honouraium increased three percent from 2011, but they all claimed remuneration for fewer meetings than the previous year, and claimed fewer expenses from conferences and trade shows.

“Council only went to a maximum of two conferences in 2012,” said South Dundas Mayor Steven Byvelds of the savings. 

“In 2011, it was felt that since most of council was new, we all would have an opportunity to attend ROMA, AMO and OEMC and this added to the total cost.”

“Council is always aware of council remuneration and cost, however attending municipal conferences helps us to learn from others and have an opportunity to network with councillors from across Ontario,” he explained.

Byvelds and Locke have lower conference expenses as they can claim two conferences through SD&G as county council members.

Mayor Byvelds, who is paid the highest honourarium of all the council members ($20,617), was paid  a total of $25,217 in 2012. 

He reduced his meeting expenses by 22 per cent over the previous year and conference expenses by seven percent. 

Byvelds makes no mileage claims.

Although Deputy Mayor Jim Locke has the second highest honourarium ($14,434), two councillors were paid more in 2012 than he was. 

Locke was paid a total of $16,430 in 2012, $3,000 less than the year before. He claimed no mileage and no conference expenses in 2012, and reduced his meeting claims by 25 per cent.

Councillor Evonne Delegarde was paid $17,440 in 2012, almost $4,000 less than 2011. 

While her $11,340 honourarium was three percent higher than the previous year, like all council members, her remuneration for meetings was reduced by 20 per cent, her mileage by 38 per cent and her trade show expenses by almost 60 per cent.

Councillor Archie Mellan received over $4,000 less in 2012 than 2011. There was a six per cent decrease in his remuneration claims, 66 per cent reduction in mileage claims and 58 per cent reduction in conference expenses.

Councillor Jim Graham was paid $15,940 in 2012, more than $4,000 less than 2011. Hi remuneration for meetings decreased by three percent, mileage by 13 per cent and  conference expenses by almost 80 per cent.

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