Council Compensation Review Committee hears concerns from public

A handful of people showed up Thursday evening to voice their opinion on how much money elected officials in the City of Windsor should be paid.

'If council is going to have that final decision, what am I doing here today?'

The review committee is in the process of examining the workload, responsibility and level of commitment required of the mayor and Windsor city councillors. (Meg Roberts/CBC)

A handful of people showed up Thursday evening to voice their opinion on how much money City of Windsor's elected officials should get paid.

The meeting — the second organized by the Council Compensation Review Committee — was aimed at giving the public an opportunity to give their input and ask questions.

It comes just one day after the first public meeting, held Wednesday morning, was not attended by a single member of the public.

Understanding the recommendations

Mohamed Chams lives in ward 10 and is currently seeking a position on council. He wanted to know what kind of information the committee is gathering before sending a recommendation to council.

"As a company owner myself, when we want to grade employees we do that individually, unfortunately this is an entire council chamber. Some are working very hard, some are not," Chams said.

"How are we really determining what they are doing?"

A handful of people attended the council compensation public meeting Thursday. At another meeting Wednesday morning, not a single member of the public attended. (Meg Roberts/CBC)

The review committee, which is made up of a board of five volunteers, is in the process of examining the workload, responsibility and level of commitment required of the mayor and Windsor city councillors.

"It was a great opportunity for people to say that they felt a certain way about certain issues," said Toni Scislwski, chair of the review committee board.

Scislwski, who expressed disappointment with the turnout of Wednesday's meeting, said the committee broadcasted the event through local media and the city's website.

"I think, overall, we tried very hard that the citizens knew about these meetings," she said, also noting that the city has received more than 700 online surveys from Windsor residents.

The review committee told the public Thursday night they have conducted interviews with the mayor and councillors and have reached out to other municipalities for comparison.

However, none of that information was ready to be presented at the meeting.

Mohamed Chams is running for ward 10 councillor in the upcoming election and said it's hard to evaluate the entire council equally. (Meg Roberts/CBC)

Chams wants the committee to host another public meeting after the information has all been collected, before the recommendation goes to council.

"We are giving our input but is it going to make a difference? Because if council is going to have that final decision, what am I doing here today and what are the rest of the people doing here today?" Chams said following the meeting.

Scislwski says hosting another meeting before council votes on anything is "something we really do have to consider."

The report to council is expected sometime in September. 

Between base pay and committee work, Mayor Drew Dilkens made close to $200,000 in 2017.

The current base pay for city councillors is $28,770. Additionally, they were each paid $10,877 for committee work.

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