A Windsor resident recently posed a question on social media asking about the compensation that City Councillors receive in the City of Windsor. The question was asked in the context of some of the perks that City of Toronto councilors receive. It’s a fair question and definitely that information should be easily accessible at taxpayer fingertips! For that reason, I am posting my response below which hopefully sheds some light.
Hi Denise! Happy to provide some answers regarding City Council compensation in the City of Windsor and some of the benefits – and I can follow up on any additional questions you may have. I will start with the Toronto context that is referenced in the video you mention. City of Toronto Councillors receive an annual salary of about $110,000 + an annual staff budget of $230,000. That salary is pegged to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) which means that every January 1st – Toronto City Councillors receive anywhere from a 1% to 2% pay raise. Sometimes more. Brampton City Councillors for instance gave themselves a 7% pay raise in 2015.
A Windsor City Councillor receives about $29,000 in annual salary – 1/3rd tax free in place of reimbursement for things like mileage, paper, pens, printer cartridges etc. – and an additional $11,000 in compensation for sitting on Boards and Committees. The last time Windsor City Council gave itself a pay raise was eleven years ago in 2005 – an increase of 1.5%. I believe before that – the second last pay raise was about 22 years ago in 1994. We receive a $2000 stipend to purchase a laptop computer and/or office equipment and that covers the four-year term. I have not used it. We can also get reimbursed for phone and internet. I have not asked for reimbursement. We do receive Free Parking that is City Wide. I also have a pass to Conservation Areas in Windsor-Essex as a result of sitting on the Essex Regional Conservation Authority. I am unaware of any other free passes to other City Facilities – but I can get that information for you. I personally have not used them if they do exist. Windsor Councillors also do not have Transit Windsor passes. When we have board meetings out in the County of Essex – we do get compensated for mileage. Two of the committees and boards I served on provide a snack before meetings e.g. crackers, grapes, cheese. Tourism Windsor Essex and Pelee Island (TWEPI) meets at lunch and provides wraps. Councillors are also allowed to travel to two out-of-town conferences each year such as the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) or the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) where we meet with councilors from across the Province and the Country to exchange best practices. Thus far – I have attended two conferences – AMO & FCM – both in Niagara Falls. I also attended the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative on my own dime. I am trying to think of any other pertinent information I can share with you, so please bear with me if I forgot an item. I definitely hear what you’re saying, and agree, that those who are fortunate enough to be called to public service should do it for the right reasons. Let me know if you have any questions any time. Cheers!
The basketball courts next to Forest Glade Community Centre have been in terrible condition for many years. It is unacceptable considering that they are located in the heart of Forest Glade and adjacent to the arena, library, community centre, tennis courts and baseball diamonds where thousands of residents of Forest Glade gather for recreation.
As you can see from the photos – there are basketball poles with no backboard, some with no rim, and others with no backboard and no rim. Most are badly deteriorated. The basketball court surface is rutted, overgrown with weeds and a public safety hazard.
I emailed these photos to the Mayor and the Executive Director of Parks on January 7th, 2016 and have had discussions with Administration about bringing these courts back up to an acceptable standard.