Rural directors are paid a separate stipend of approximately $1,350 a year and that should double, according to Area E director Donna McMahon.
During the first round of budget deliberations, McMahon made the case for doubling the stipend that only Sunshine Coast Regional District’s (SCRD) five rural directors receive, arguing they are “radically underfunded,” given the amount of work and responsibility the role demands “over and above our general work as directors at the board table.”
She suggested the board revisit director remuneration at a later date, but to vote now on whether to bump the rural director stipend to approximately $50 per week, or an extra $1,300 annually.
Directors receive a stipend of $131.70 for attending each meeting plus additional amounts for chairing meetings and attending conferences. Rural directors are also paid the separate stipend on top of their regular pay of $9,438.
Last year, directors voted in favour of a wage increase to offset the removal of a tax exemption for elected officials.
Andreas Tize, director for Roberts Creek, made similar comments as his predecessor, Mark Lebbell, who argued consistently for raising director pay. Tize said diversity in age and “all categories” could only be achieved with higher wages.
“The last board would be a good example of the general demographic that can take the time away from their schedule to do this job,” he said.
“We’re not trying to get rich here, this is just to make ends meet a little bit better,” said Tize.
Directors voted to incorporate the funding proposal into the second round of budget deliberations for consideration.
Mark Hiltz, rural director for Area F, opposed the motion.