The Two Tier Government in the District of Muskoka is costing Taxpayers One Million Dollars a Year in duplication.
In the January edition of What’s Up, Mayor Bob Young of the Township of Lake of Bays advocates for increased salaries for mayors and councillors. He further suggests that the mayor’s position, due the heavy workload and important responsibilities, should be a full time position with a salary to reflect the increased time on the job.
So, how much do Muskoka taxpayers currently spend on part-time leadership across Muskoka? To help compare, it was noted in the same article that the Mayor of London Ontario receives a salary of $130,900 with population of 366,151 residents.
Let’s add together the salaries for the District chairman, mayors and the salaries they receive for their positions on District Council: Mayor Young $38,137, Mayor Doughy $33,224, Mayor Smith $36,153, Mayor Donaldson $37,221, Mayor Murphy $36,137, Chairman Klinck $72,300. For their work on the District Council each mayor receives and additional $14,500 (X6) for a total of $87,000. (Please note the salary for Mayor Larry Braird of Township of Georgian Bay has not been included, but his district council salary has been)
Now add the direct salaries as mayor and the district council salary and the grand total is: $340,172.
The Second Home Study conducted by the staff at the District office was released in December 2013. The study confirmed that the seasonal population is 83,203 and combined with the permanent population of 59,220, the Muskoka population is 142,423.
Are Muskokans paying too much for elected leadership? Given the current cost of leadership here, London Ontario residents are really getting a bargain by Muskoka standards.
Or is it time to consider, one full time mayor for Muskoka? Would a salary of $300,000 be attractive enough to interest a forward thinker with both skills and knowledge to bring Muskoka in the 21st century? One who would pull Muskoka together for the benefit of all residents?
We think all Muskokans should consider One Muskoka! One Mayor!
Evelyn Brown, Catherine King, Mike Provan