Council meeting on Tuesday March 29th (un-televised or recorded for some reason) attendees had the opportunity to review the tax dollars paid to Midland Mayor and Councillors for 2015. The $264,184.30 paid does not include extra monies paid from the County of Simcoe, the Airport Commission or the Midland PUC.
We have learned that Gord McKay was paid an additional $25,363.17 for sitting on County Council and Deputy Mayor Mike Ross was paid $18,389.13 by the County.
That brings the Mayor McKay up to: $68,434.29 ($43,071.12 (Midland) + $25,363.17 (County))
and Deputy Mayor Ross up to: $55,260.11 ($36,870.98 (Midland) +$18,389.13 (County))
Not bad for a part time job funded by taxpayers and including a rich and comprehensive benefits package.
Council rejected freezing their wages and any notion of removing benefits (they are the only part-time employees of the Town of Midland to get the benefit plan). Furthermore they have repeatedly demanded that the Town cut staff (and have fired staff accordingly) and don’t mind paying out millions in severance and salary continuation (numbers that we estimate at $1.5 Million dollars). The true costs will eventually come out as we understand they are the subject of at least one FOI request.
We expect that this story will result in many responses online about how many hours our councillors work, how many committees they sit on (many include compensation & stipend) and how some may actual feel that they are “underpaid”.
We won’t trivialize how much work goes into being an informed and well-read councillor, but it should not come as a surprise to any of them. They knew the job description when they ran for office.
What is troubling is how they seem content to denounce spending on services (emergency and otherwise) in town but fail to recognize their own salaries and benefits as a large part of the town’s expenses. This “do as I say and not as I do” attitude while looking for ways to save money on the backs of the public servants will not make Midland the attractive destination that they have undertaken to promote. As Council seems to nickel and dime and micromanage every staff decision and recommendation many see our Council as dysfunctional and stuck in the weeds when it should be managing from a much higher level. On this, we find ourselves in full agreement with the local lobby group.
Where is the leadership in 2016? With Council granting itself a pay raise yet again, we see nothing but contempt for the town staff that keep the town running year-over-year as elected politicians come and go… when will we see council leading by example?