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Councillor Remuneration 

The one matter that has occupied an inordinate amount of the time of our new Council is the fraught question of how much they should be paid, and reimbursed.

The Remuneration Authority sets down the total "pool" that may be paid out (including 50% of the CB members pay), based on the "resident" population - a legitimate ground for dispute.  The EW members earn substantially more by comparison. What has caused real concern to our people is the restricting of mileage allowances to $5,000 per annum, and the introduction of a 30 km. threshold.

Some former Councillors frankly made a poultice from the previous unlimited allowance based on 70c. a km, so our new people are not exactly crazy about being restricted in this manner - they have made a plea to the Authority based on their "special circumstances" - i.e. distance Whitianga to Thames.

The Authority has approved a new $750 Communication Allowance "to cover the cost of communications". This is in addition to a $100 a month telephone allowance that must be backed up with bills.

Readers may be interested in the remuneration that is paid to the team. It is as follows:

Mayor                                  $81,266 (plus full private use of new car)

Deputy Mayor                      $34,610

Chairs of Committees  (3)    $32,480

Councillors  (4)                    $28,130

Community Board Chairs (5) $10,246

Members (15)                         $6,034

Total                          $467,576

Several new Councillors have apparently complained that that are insufficiently recompensed for the time spent reading the voluminous papers that are part and parcel of the job. I don't think the Authority is particularly interested in this claim, and neither it should be. These people either wish to perform a public service or they don't. Bleatings of this nature are frankly odious. 



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