A third Surrey city council member says she’ll be donating her cut to charity after council voted itself a 2.3 per cent pay raise in a meeting that was closed to the public.
This happened during an in-camera meeting in January and city staff was later authorized to release a redacted version of its report to the public.
Surrey city council members gave themselves a 2.3 per cent pay raise in January during a meeting that was closed to the public. Retroactive to Jan. 21, Mayor Doug McCallum’s indemnity for 2021 has increased to $156,800 from $153,211 “to achieve better alignment with the market” while the eight council members are now each getting $79,968 instead of $78,139. Retro was paid on Feb. 12.
Councillors Jack Hundial and Steven Pettigrew were first out of the gate Tuesday to say they will be donating their pay raise to charity, with Councillor Linda Annis following suit.
“Because the decision was made in camera, I’m not allowed to say how I or anyone else voted,” Annis said. “But, what I can tell you, I will be donating the increase to charity here in Surrey.”
Councillor Allison Patton said that “as has always been the protocol in the past, all matters relating to HR issues are discussed in closed.”
Meantime, former Surrey mayor and councillor Bob Bose is aghast that the vote took place in-camera.
“It doesn’t belong in-camera, point one – it’s not a personnel issue. Point two, the release of the information provides no account of how members of council voted. That remains in-camera. That’s wrong,” he said. “Members of council can neither defend themselves or state how they voted. It’s really wrong, I’m at my wit’s end on that one.
“We’ve got tonnes of in-camera stuff going on, and they redact the votes,” Bose said.