A day after Mayor David Miller announced the city desperately needs to cut millions in spending, councillors declined to fall on their swords and reduce their own salaries.
Councillor Michael Walker rose yesterday and made a stab at persuading politicians to roll back the nine per cent salary hike they gave themselves last year. He was ruled out of order by the deputy speaker and councillors voted 22-9 to uphold that ruling, leaving Walker fuming.
“We say there’s a crisis and we all agree, but nobody’s prepared to start making a sacrifice in their own home or their own pocket,” said Walker (Ward 22, St. Paul’s). “We ask people to tighten their belts ... but you can’t do that unless you impose that on yourself.”
Walker said it was an important, symbolic vote and a decision to trim their own salaries would put council in a stronger bargaining position when it asks Queen’s Park to ease the city’s financial dilemma.
The pay hike took a councillors’ salary to $95,000 from $87,214 and the mayor’s salary to $160,000 from $147,856. The raise cost taxpayers almost $355,000 a year.