Council Remuneration, Allowances, Benefits, Expenses, Conferences and Seminars Procedure

Purpose statement

To address all financial provisions paid to Members of Council for the discharge of official duties and the process for future adjustment of these provisions. Such provisions include (1) remuneration, allowances, and benefits; (2) general expenses; (3) conferences and seminars.

Scope

This procedure applies to the Mayor and Members of Council.

(1) Remuneration, Allowances and Benefits

  1. Remuneration:
    1. A review shall be undertaken each regular election year to determine the remuneration rates for the newly elected Council;
    2. A review of a comparator group of municipalities of sufficient size to provide a meaningful sample shall be used to undertake such a review;
    3. The 75th percentile rate from the comparator group shall be used as a guiding principle together with any other factors determined relevant and applicable to be used for such a review;
    4. Stipend amounts recommended as a result of the comparator group review, and adopted by the current Council, will be effective January 1st of the year following the election;
    5. In April of each non-election year, the stipends for both the Mayor and Members of Council will be adjusted at the same rate as the economic adjustment received by non-union employees of the Town of Oakville (town). Such increase to be retroactive to January 1st of that year.
    6. The annual stipends and allowances determined in each regular election year will be maintained and monitored by the Human Resource and Finance departments;
    7. The annual stipends and any applicable allowances will be paid to Members of Council as part of the regular bi-weekly municipal payroll.
  2. Benefits:
    1. Upon taking office, each Member of Council may elect to receive dental benefits, life insurance, major medical benefits, health care spending account (HCSA) and accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) benefits at the same level of coverage provided to non-union employees, but extending past age 65. Past age 65, life insurance and AD&D are provided on a declining scale, terminating at age 85. Such coverage shall be paid by the town.

    2. An individual who ceases to be a Member of Council is entitled to receive medical and dental coverage for a three month period from the date of leaving office provided that the individual served two terms of office and left on good terms.

  3. Pension: In accordance with By-law 2000-204, eligible Members will be enrolled in the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) pension plan. Member contributions to the OMERS plan will be matched by the town.
     
  4. Annual allowance: The approved annual budget will include an annual allowance for each Member of Council to cover the cost of Community Outreach and Professional Development (COPD) expenses.  This allowance will cover costs including attendance at conferences and seminars and maintaining a community profile.  Community Profile Expenses can include such things as: attending community events, annual general meetings (AGM), fund-raising and events, advertising and sponsorship of local community group brochures and literature. A recap of expenses relating to the annual allowance will be prepared and distributed monthly by the Finance department to Members and posted on the town’s website on a quarterly basis. Any amounts incurred over the annual allowance will be paid back by the Member of Council.

(2)   General expenses

  1. Provision of office equipment and materials: In order to effectively discharge their duties and responsibilities, an allowance determined every election year will be provided to Members of Council for office furniture/set-up as a one-time payment for the term of office. The town shall also provide Members with the following:
    1. A personal computer with appropriate software and a multi-function printing device;
    2. A telephone line with fax capabilities, and an internet-based communications link to the town's systems with unlimited internet access;
    3. A smartphone and tablet.

All of the above provisions will be based on town standards.

The Director, Information Systems will coordinate at the town's expense, the:

  • Delivery and installation of the Home office technologies
  • Ongoing support and training
  • Cellular telephone usage and long distance packages
  1. Corporate promotional items: Town pins, flags and other town promotion items may be made available from time to time to Members, for distribution to the public and service clubs. The associated costs will be charged against the individual Members’ annual COPD allowance.
  2. Automobile/mileage allowance:

Mayor: Upon taking office the Mayor shall:
Receive a monthly taxable car allowance, provided through payroll in an amount of $750.00;

Council:

  1. Members of Council are eligible to receive reimbursement for mileage if, as a result of their position, they are required to travel on town business only.
  2. Members of Council shall not be reimbursed for costs incurred when travelling to and from Town Hall;
  3. Reimbursement for mileage to carry out constituency business will be charged to the annual COPD allowance provision;
  4. Reimbursement will be made in accordance with the established per kilometre rate for non-union employees.

Reimbursement of such expenses shall be in accordance with Appendix A.

(3)   Conferences seminars and related expenses procedure

  1. Members of Council may attend conferences and seminars related to municipal governance, provided sufficient funds are available within the current year's COPD allowance. Such expenses may include accommodation, travel expenses, training costs, conference registration fees, a per diem allowance to cover meals (if meals are not provided) and/or incidental expenses incurred by the Mayor and members of council only and shall be in accordance with established corporate policy and procedure.
  2. Attendance at AMO or FCM conferences will be charged against the Council budgeted  funds, provided such funds are available.
  3. Registration, accommodation and travel arrangements for the Mayor and Members of Council will be made through the Mayor's Office. Advance bookings and discount fares will be used where possible and appropriate.

Reimbursement of such expenses shall be in accordance with Appendix A.

Responsibilities

  1. The Human Resources department, in conjunction with the Finance department, is responsible for maintaining and monitoring council remuneration, allowances, benefits, conferences and seminars.
  2. Members of Council are responsible for exercising good judgment while incurring all expenses.
  3. The Finance department shall post Council community outreach and professional development expenses on the town website.

Appendix A: Reimbursement Procedure

  1. Members of Council shall be responsible for submitting a monthly reimbursement expense form for the specified corporate air time package for communications equipment and related home office expenses (fax, smartphone etc.). The reimbursement expense form shall be submitted to the Administrative Assistant to the Mayor;
  2. Members of Council shall retain all original bills and receipts related to such claimed expenses for their term of office and such bills and receipts shall be available for audit;
  3. The Administrative Assistant to the Mayor shall forward all reimbursement expense forms for processing to Payroll as part of the bi-weekly payroll cycle;
  4. At the end of the Member's term, reimbursement for the telephone and internet access and air time package will be discontinued and Members may purchase the personal computer, printing equipment and smartphone at its residual value.

Mileage/Travel - Non Conference/Seminar related

  1. All kilometres travelled, parking fees, and 407 toll charges shall be reported on a monthly or quarterly basis on the Automobile Mileage & Expense Claim form, with original receipts, and submitted to the Administrative Assistant to the Mayor for processing to Payroll;
  2. Reimbursements for 407 Toll charges will be limited to the trip toll charges and will not include any amounts related to the acquisition of a transponder or related service fees;
  3. Entertainment, hospitality or meal allowance expenses must be supported by original receipts, show the names and business relationships of attendees and state the purpose or reason for the expense. All such expenses shall be submitted on the monthly reimbursement expense form and charged against the annual COPD allowance;
  4. The Mayor shall be issued a corporate credit card.  The use of the card is subject to the Corporate Purchase Card Order System rules and procedures outlined in the "Corporate Credit Card" Policy.

Conferences/Seminars

  1. All conference and seminar expenses are subject to sufficient funds being available in the current year's allowance.
  2. Claims for reimbursement for conferences or seminars must be submitted to the Administrative Assistant to the Mayor for processing to Payroll on the Final Travel and Conference Expense Submission form, approved by the individual Member, along with original receipts and a copy of the conference agenda.
  3. Requests must be submitted within 15 days of the end of conference or seminar.
  4. Where conferences are attended outside of Canada foreign exchange will be paid on actual costs and converted at the prevailing exchange rate.
  5. Air or rail transportation, mileage, ground transportation to and from the airport, cancellation insurance, will be paid as follows:
    1. Air travel costs to and from the event will be reimbursed to a maximum of economy airfare. The only exception to economy would be on long haul flights greater than 10 hours where a premium economy seat could be purchased;
    2. Trip cancellation insurance will be paid where advance bookings or other discounts are used;
    3. Advance bookings and discount airfares will be used where possible and appropriate. Where an extended stay is required to qualify for the reduced rates or discount, such additional cost incurred for the extended stay for accommodations and meals will be paid, provided that it is to the advantage of the town to do so;
    4. When ground transportation to and from the airport or hotel is required, payment shall be covered upon submission of receipts;
    5. All kilometres travelled, parking fees, and 407 toll charges shall be reported on the Final Travel and Conference Expense Submission Form, which shall be submitted to the Administrative Assistant to the Mayor, for processing to Payroll;
    6. Reimbursements for 407 toll charges will be limited to the trip toll charges and will not include any amounts related to the acquisition of a transponder or related service fees.
  6. Hotel room accommodation shall be paid at single occupancy rate or at the conference rate for the duration of the event including travel time of up to two days.
  7. An allowance of $100 per day, for conference and travel days only, may be claimed to cover the costs of meals, gratuities, personal telephone charges and other incidental expenses not covered by the registration, transportation and accommodation clauses. Such provision applies only when overnight accommodation is required.
  8. An allowance of $35 per day for seminars may be claimed to cover the cost of meals, payment shall be covered upon submission of receipts.

All reimbursements will be processed through the Payroll System and added to the Member’s next pay.

Procedure details

Procedure Number: G-GEN-005-001
Parent Policy: G-GEN-005
Section: Governance
Sub-Section: General
Author: Human Resources Department & Finance Department
Authority: Council
Effective Date: 2006 May 01
Review by Date: 2022

References

Municipal Act
G-GEN-005-002 Council Use of Administrative Staff Procedure
G-GEN-005-003 Council Newsletter Procedure
Corporate Credit Card Policy
HR-DVL-001-002 Conference, Seminar and Training Expense Procedure
Appendix A - Reimbursement Procedure
Appendix B - Monthly Reimbursement Expense form
Appendix C - Final Travel and Conference Expense Submission form
Appendix D - Automobile Mileage and Expense Claim form