SDG council pay nets 20 per cent increase in 2022

SDG Counties councillor Carma Williams. (SDG Counties/file photo)

CORNWALL – The cost to taxpayers of the elected officials serving at the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry increased by nearly 20 per cent in 2022.

The annual remuneration report, which is required to be filed by the end of March each year, outlines the compensation paid to elected officials including honourarium, meeting remuneration, conference remuneration, and mileage.

In 2022, warden Carma Williams earned $72,709.41 in total remuneration, which is the highest amount paid to a warden during the last term of council.

The warden is paid a base council honourarium of $13,362.72 as a member of council, and an additional $24,474.56 for their one-year term as warden. Last year, Williams also earned $29,989.34 for attending meetings, which is a 598 per cent increase from the split warden-ship of Frank Prevost and Allan Armstrong in 2021.

Due to COVID-19 pandemic-related restrictions, many in-person meetings in 2020 and 2021 were cancelled or held virtually. Comparing meeting remuneration to 2019, Williams earned 464.4 per cent more in meeting remuneration than then-warden Jamie Macdonald. That year, Macdonald earned $5,313.62 for meetings.

Williams led council in overall remuneration in 2022, and for mileage claimed ($3,064.34), and conference remuneration ($1,818.45).

“As warden you are compensated for any meetings or events when you are there on behalf of the Counties,” Williams told The Leader. She explained that as pandemic-related restrictions were lifted, events around SDG Counties became “very busy.”

“There were a million events all of a sudden,” Williams said. “It was very busy. It’s very worthwhile if you are going.”

Many of the events were tied to promotions or initiatives by SDG Counties.

“At the end of the day, it is to the benefit of the residents to have that representation with one regional message across SDG,” Williams said.

Then-councillor, now warden Tony Fraser had the second-highest remuneration in 2022, earning $18,894.42 overall. Fraser began his one-year term as warden in December 2022. Now-retired councillor Jim Wert earned $18,297.86; former councillor David Smith earned $18,320; councillor Frank Landry earned $18,195; former councillor Kirsten Gardner $17,912.01; retired councillor Steven Byvelds $16,615.62; former councillor Stephanie Jaworski $16,568.95; former councillor Lyle Warden $16,449.73; councillor Bryan McGillis $15,932.01; councillor Jamie Macdonald $14,476.26; and retired councillor Allan Armstrong $14,164.40.

As 2022 was a municipal election year, seven new council members added to the number of politicians in the report, but did not contribute to the increase in remuneration paid.

New councillor Lachlan MacDonald received $1,405.30 in overall compensation for 2022; councillor Andrew Guindon $1,366.09; councillor Theresa Bergeron $1,364.07; councillor Jason Broad $1,157.98; councillor Steve Densham $1,113.54; councillor Martin Lang $1,113.54; and councillor Marc St. Pierre $1,113.54.

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