Democracy will be a little more expensive in the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen.
At the latest board meeting, the regional district amended its remuneration, expenses and benefits bylaw. The bylaw governs compensation for elected officials on the regional district board. The new bylaw replaces the existing bylaw, which was adopted in June 2020.
Compensation for elected officials increases under this bylaw, based on the five-year rolling average of the Consumer Price Increase. Based on the past five years, the increase is 3.2 per cent. However, the rate of inflation from November 2021 to November 2022 was 6.7 per cent.
Under the bylaw, compensation is based on a director’s role on the board.
Municipal directors, appointed from the communities of Summerland, Penticton, Oliver, Osoyoos and Princeton receive $409.71 a month in remuneration. Those who are electoral area directors receive $1,417.14 a month.
In addition to this compensation regional district chair receives $2,125.27 a month while the vice-chair receives $387.28 a month.
Directors are paid $183.73 for attending each board meeting, $61.24 for each committee meeting on the same day as board meetings and $139.29 a day for attending committee meetings separate from board meetings.
Those who are alternate directors receive the same remuneration as board members for attending board meetings and committee meetings. They also receive $139.29 a day for attending other meetings in place of the director and $61.24 a month for their roles as alternate rural area directors.
Expenses are in addition to these figures.
Each year, local governments including the regional district release a Statement of Financial Information, showing the amount paid to elected officials. In 2021, the last year for which figures are available, the 33 directors and alternate directors on the board received a total of $563,083.
In 2019, compensation for regional district directors increased by nearly 12 per cent to offset changes to taxation affecting elected officials.
The compensation change was approved, with directors George Bush, James Miller, Subrina Monteith and Tim Roberts opposed.
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