$70k per year would put capital in line with Whitehorse, Yellowknife

Iqaluit mayor inches closer to full-time status

By CHRIS WINDEYER

It's officially bylaw number 666, which might help explain why a move to increase the Iqaluit mayor's salary is moving at a snail's pace through city council.

Council gave second reading Nov. 13 to the bylaw that would boost the mayor's current salary of $40,000 to $70,000 and make the job a full-time position.

The original bylaw would also have increased the pay of regular councillors to $7,000 from the current $6,000 per year, and of the deputy mayor to $9,000 from the current $8,000.

But Coun. Glenn Williams successfully fought to have the pay raises for councillors removed from the motion.

"That's not the issue that we're dealing with," Williams said.

Councillors have been cool to the idea of a pay hike for the mayor. In March, a motion to discuss the same bylaw didn't get a seconder and died. Defeated motions can't come back before council for six months.

This time, the second reading of the bylaw hardly got a ringing endorsement. Councillors Jimmy Kilabuk and Claude Martel and deputy mayor Al Hayward weren't at the meeting, and Sheutiapik declared a conflict and left council chambers during the debate.

That left just councillors Jim Little and Glenn Williams to vote for the measure. Coun. David Alexander admitted he didn't understand the amended bylaw and abstained. Simon Nattaq, as the senior councillor, chaired that phase of meeting and did not vote.

Across Nunavut, the salaries of mayors range from $12,000 per year in Qikiqtarjuaq for 10 to 15 hours work each week, to $56,650 a year in Cape Dorset, also for 10 to 15 hours work each week.

The number of hours worked by each mayor varies widely among communities.

Rankin Inlet Mayor Lorne Kusugak receives a part-time salary of $50,000. In Cambridge Bay, Mayor Michelle Gillis makes $30,000 per year on a part-time basis.

In the NWT, the mayor of Hay River works part-time and receives $39,300 a year. The mayor of Yellowknife, Gord Van Tighem, earns a salary of $58,600 and a tax-exempt municipal officers' allowance of $29,300. Whitehorse Mayor Bev Buckway earns $72,500.

Iqaluit council no longer plans, as suggested this summer, to hire the mayor on as chief administrative officer. Councillors unanimously passed third reading of a bylaw that formally hires John Hussey, who's also the city's finance director, as CAO.

Hussey had done the job on an interim basis since March, when former CAO Clinton Mauthe abruptly quit his job.

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