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Councillors begin debate on council salary hike

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Not all North Bay councillors believe city council’s wages should go up.  Jeff Serran is one councillor who opposes a wage hike. Councillor Mac Bain suggested the wage increase, and a few weeks earlier also suggested reducing the number of councillors from 10 to 8 to save money.  But Serran says when you consider both recommendations, he’s wondering where the savings will come from.  Serran says if council moves to eight councillors and, then increases their workload to pick-up the slack and also gives them raises, there are no savings.  Serran, as well as other councillors, like Mike Anthony, also say the timing of this issue is bad.  Both point out people have lost their jobs, the economy is tough and many people are feeling it.   For now the issue will remain at the committee level while staff looks at what other cities pay their councillors.  Staff will also examine what the cost would be to re-introduce the concept of paying councillors to attend the ABC committee meetings which it stopped doing in 2003.   At $18,600, councillor Derek Shogren says North Bay is close to rock bottom on council salaries.

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