Council candidates being asked to support wage freeze

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Mark MacDonald

CORNWALL, Ontario - A former city councillor who wants the job again said Wednesday the city can't afford paying its elected officials more money.

Mark MacDonald, a former two-term councillor who is running in the October election, is circulating a document among other candidates, asking for their support in telling the existing city council to shelve plans for a raise.

"I knew exactly what the pay was when I signed up," he said. "Eighteen to 40 per cent is craziness."

MacDonald is referring to the rate of city council raises being recommended by a consultant hired in January to study the issue.

The consultants said Monday night at city hall councillors should get their pay hiked to $25,000 a year, from $18,000, while the mayor should make closer to $75,000 instead of $61,000.

"The consultant's report cost $10,000, but it's something city staff could have done with the click of a mouse - to find out what they pay in other communities," he said, adding local stakeholders want to see cuts at city hall, not more spending. "When you talk to the community action group, they say we can't afford it."

City council is expected to make a decision July 14 concerning the recommendations. The raises will not tak effect until next year.

Council members have had modest cost of living increases this term, or less than two per cent.

Geographic location: Ontario

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