Council wants a citizens' committee struck to examine remuneration for its members.
The formation of the committee was approved at Tuesday night's meeting, suggesting the group review a recent report on council remuneration, along with investigating the appropriate size of Stratford council.
The motion passed 5-4, with Mayor Dan Mathieson and councillors Dave Hunt, Chris Rickett, George Brown and Lloyd Lichti in support. Councillors Cheryl Ruby and Frank Mark were absent. The Gazda, Houlne and Associates study compared Stratford with other Ontario municipalities of comparable size. It showed Stratford's mayor and city councillors received less money than most other municipalities, but had the largest number of councillors.
"We know better than anyone what we should be paid," said Coun. Keith Culliton, suggesting council deal with the matter themselves. "The mayor should get a raise and we should toddle along eating bread without butter."
Coun. Howard Famme suggested the mayor's pay be increased by $3,500 and council pay remain the same.
"I think the mayor is greatly underpaid," he said.
Hunt said the mayor is "grossly underpaid" and likely deserves more than a $3,500 raise.
Brown suggested the committee would not only examine pay, but also the size of council, something he said is an important issue. Rickett agreed the review was important.
"I think we owe it to ourselves to get a citizens' committee review," said Rickett.
Coun. Kathy Rae said there are expenses councillors incur many do not consider, such as the need for a vehicle, computer and fax machine. She said several women she's spoken with who are interested in running for council that cannot afford such equipment
"There are expenses that are important to others and need to be addressed," said Rae.