Salary top up for Cornwall mayor considered

Cornwall Mayor Bernadette Clement. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

Update 10 a.m. Tuesday: No top up for Cornwall mayor’s salary. Click here for the update.

CORNWALL – Two weeks after approving a cost of living increase for Cornwall’s mayor, council will discuss whether to give more money to the head of council.

The options include maxing out the mayor’s contribution limit to an RRSP to a full 18 per cent of her annual salary (about $9,900) or a one-time increase in salary of $8,000.

It comes after Coun. Syd Gardiner asked for a staff report on somehow making financial amends for the council leader after the federal government eliminated the one-third tax-free exemption for elected officials.

Mayor Bernadette Clement currently makes $55,020, plus benefits (dental, long term disability and life insurance), a $160 per month car allowance and an honorarium for sitting on the police board.

As of two weeks ago, her salary is now pegged to the consumer price index and will be roughly $58,387 by 2022.

Because of the federal tax exemption being lifted, Clement is losing the equivalent of $6,200 in take-home pay for the year, a staff report states.

Depending on how council feels about the options, a bylaw will come back to council for approval.

According to data from the Association of Clerks and Treasurers of Ontario, the average salary for a mayor of an Eastern Ontario city with a population of 25,000-49,999 is $45,396. Roughly 42 per cent of mayors in those sized cities across Ontario make $40,000-60,000 a year.