Town of Strathmore council adopted a new remuneration policy during the Dec. 6 regular meeting, and simultaneously rescinded their previous policy, as was presented by administration.
The document governing council remuneration clarifies for sitting members of council, town administration and the public what expenses can be claimed for remuneration, as well as how claims can be made.
Remuneration and allowances are dictated regarding expenses incurred by sitting councillors, and/ or the mayor for services performed as part of their duties as members of council.
Nancy Teghtmeyer, senior manager of human resources with the Town of Strathmore, explained the changes to the policy are for the purposes of clarity and flexibility, as there would be no changes to compensation.
Coun. Denise Peterson inquired as to whether it was possible, in “exceptional circumstances” being an instance where a councillor may go beyond their respective per diem limits, to be compensated for their expenses.
Chief Administrative Officer Kevin Scoble said it is possible for a councillor to be reimbursed in exceptional circumstances from the town’s stabilization fund.
Previously, the policy required council to submit per diem claims on a monthly basis. Administration had recommended council amend the policy to state that claims must be submitted as soon as possible following the incur of an expense.
This change would allow for greater flexibility for claims, as it was indicated in the former procedure, it was not always possible to file a claim in the same month as an event.
Under the new policy, administration must also provide council with a quarterly statement covering individual expense budgets for sitting councillors and the mayor. Councillors shall be accountable to the mayor for the management of their individual budgets.
Operationally, the amended policy does not list any changes to the process for filing an expense claim.
The mayor and each sitting councillor are entitled under the remuneration policy to a maximum of $4,000 each to claim per diems annually for attendance at events directly related to their duties as councillors. These conditions are listed in the publicly available policy document through the town website.
Also listed in the document are the salaries granted to the mayor and council, as well as the per diem rates a sitting member of council may file to claim for incurred expenses.
More information regarding council’s remuneration policy, as well as the complete document are publicly available via the town meeting agenda for Dec. 6, posted to the town’s website.
By John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Original Published on Dec 13, 2023 at 13:00