Refusing a Pay Increase

Almonte Old Town Hall, photo by Jan Maydan

Your council currently receives the following salaries:

Mayor: $34,823 per fiscal year, plus County remuneration
Deputy Mayor: $23,234 per fiscal year, plus County remuneration
Councillor: $19,314 per fiscal year

The Mayor and Deputy Mayor each receive in excess of $20,000 plus expenses per year (as of 2018) from Lanark County. You can see the 2018 report below:

The 2018 Lanark County salaries and expenses from their April 10, 2019 Corporate Services agenda. At that time, a significant portion of the salary was non-taxable. That no longer exists.

Before the 2018 election, up to a third of the salary was tax-free, which is why it is shown in the County report in two columns. It is all taxable now.

The process for pay raises seems to have been that the increase bylaw is inserted with a number of other bylaws that have been previously discussed by Council and passed as a group. The Chair (in this case, the mayor) asks if anyone would like to pull a bylaw for further discussion.

I asked that the remuneration bylaw be pulled for discussion. I suggested that, because so many residents had their income reduced by COVID-19 measures, that we should forgo the 2% pay increase this year. Our Treasurer is now giving regular reports on the impacts of the measures.

Thank you to Councillors Dalgity, Guerard and Holmes for joining me in voting to defeat the bylaw.

You can hear the discussion at the June 16, 2020 Special Council Meeting, at approximately 2:43:00 (pretty much the end of the meeting), here:

Around Almonte

I am sharing a few photos from walks around Almonte lately. It is nice to see the support for all our grads and front line workers in health care, government and businesses, food and essential services.

The parks have opened up and our municipal staff have been working hard. Not all municipal staff are back to work yet, so your patience is appreciated.

I went to see the new picnic table in Don Maynard Park. Calvin Murphy, our Recreation Coordinator, told me that Ken Fisher, the Facilities Manager, saw these picnic tables in a park elsewhere. Calvin ordered the solid frames last year and Ken and staff worked to attach the wood. I was called by a delighted resident asking who was responsible for it. Thank you, Parks and Recreation!

Residents of the Gale Subdivision have been tending Gloria’s Garden as well. Beautiful.

Gratitude on Spring Street
A thankful corner in town.
Congrats to Grads!
The new accessible picnic table.
Gloria’s Garden, Don Maynard Park, Almonte

Provincial Phase 2 News

The government of the Province of Ontario has announced:

“Effective Friday, June 12, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., the province will increase the limit on social gatherings from five to 10 people across the province, regardless of whether a region has moved to Stage 2. Additionally, all places of worship in Ontario will also be permitted to open with physical distancing in place and attendance limited to no more than 30 per cent of the building capacity to ensure the safety of worshippers.”

Public health unit regions allowed to move into Stage 2 on Friday, June 12 at 12:01 a.m. include the Leeds Grenville Lanark Health Unit.

Businesses and services permitted to reopen with proper health and safety measures in place in regions entering Stage 2 include:

  • Outdoor dine-in services at restaurants, bars and other establishments, including patios, curbside, parking lots and adjacent properties;
  • Select personal and personal care services with the proper health and safety measures in place, including tattoo parlours, barber shops, hair salons and beauty salons;
  • Shopping malls under existing restrictions, including food services reopening for take-out and outdoor dining only;
  • Tour and guide services, such as bike and walking, bus and boat tours, as well as tasting and tours for wineries, breweries and distilleries;
  • Water recreational facilities such as outdoor splash pads and wading pools, and all swimming pools;
  • Beach access and additional camping at Ontario Parks;
  • Camping at private campgrounds;
  • Outdoor-only recreational facilities and training for outdoor team sports, with limits to enable physical distancing;
  • Drive-in and drive-through venues for theatres, concerts, animal attractions and cultural appreciation, such as art installations;
  • Film and television production activities, with limits to enable physical distancing; and
  • Weddings and funerals, with limits on social gatherings to 10 people.

Ontario Government postpones property tax reassessment

The Ontario government announced on Wednesday March 25 that it would postpone property reassessments. in light of the COVID-19 crisis. That means that the valuation for the 2021 assessments will be based on the same valuation date as 2020. In addition, the Province announced that it would permit tax payment deferrals. See the Minister’s letter containing proposed details of payment extensions here:

http://www.almonteforall.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Ministers-Letter-to-Head-of-Council-March-27-2020.pdf

I expect that Council will discuss these matters shortly.

Local Health Contacts and Information

I have prepared a one-page “cheat sheet” with the contact information of local hospitals and clinics and a brief synopsis of their information regarding appointments and visits in light of the the COVID-19 virus. I hope it may be useful. Click the link below:

http://www.almonteforall.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/COVID-19-Local-Medical-Cheat-Sheet.pdf