The city councillor who first suggested the raises for Revelstoke mayor and council is no longer supporting the proposed increases.
Cody Younker issued a statement today, Jan. 23, and said he believes it is important for leaders to listen to their constituents and he is thankful that so many people have engaged with the issue.
“I will no longer be supporting these raises or any raise higher than the already implemented cost of living increase during our term,” he said in an email. “I do believe our council should come back to this in our final year and decide on proper remuneration to set for the next council.”
Younker brought forward proposed raises for mayor and council during the ongoing 2020 budget deliberations. The raises would see councillor pay increase from $15,300 to $25,000 and pay for the mayor increase from $30,600 to $70,000.
Councillor Steven Cross resigned in protest of the raises, when his motion to remove them from the budget was defeated, at a Special Council meeting on Jan. 21.
Younker said that since the meeting on Tuesday, he and his family have been verbally attacked in person and at his place of work, Southside Market, as well as via email. He said he is deeply disappointed by this.
“My family should never have been brought into this and moving forward I would ask you please refrain from discussing city business at my main place of work,” he said.
Younker and city council first began discussing the raises in November.
“In regards to the pay raises, it has never been about putting more money in my pocket,” he said. “The only reason I ever proposed implementing it over three years was to lower the tax burden.”
Younker plans to bring forward a motion to remove the raises from the budget and discuss them again at the end of the term.
So far council has defeated motions that would see the raises removed and the money redirected to infrastructure funding, that the raises be approved but implemented in the next term and that the mayor’s raise be decreased to $50,000 a year.
Though the Local Government Act does not allow councillors to bring back a motion that has already been defeated, only the mayor can do that, Younker said he should be allowed this motion as it is different from the others.
Younker’s announcement comes the day after the City of Revelstoke employees who are part of CUPE 363, voted to strike, saying that if councillors can give themselves a 67 per cent raise they should also be giving city employees a raise.