At a time when the general public are not seeing any increase in their wages, Singleton Councillors voted on Monday night to give themselves the maximum payable fee increase.
That means our Mayor Sue Moore will enjoy an annual increase in her allowance of 70 per cent from the current $24,630 to $42,120 for the next financial year.
Councillors will also benefit from a substantial increase in their fees which will rise from the present $11,290/year to $19,310.
Many Singleton residents voiced their strong objection to the proposed large increase in the Councillors fees on social media saying they found it hard to believe Councillors would not vote to accept the maximum amount payable and their opinions proved correct.
The changes to the fees followed a review by the Local Government Remuneration Tribunal to determine categories for council, together with the annual fees payable Singleton Council changed categories from a Rural council to to Regional Rural one and as such fees payable to the Mayor and Councillors can be higher and can also exceed the 2.5 per cent limit that applies to councils who have not changed categories.
According to the Council’s report on the fees councillors could be paid within the range of $8,750 to $19,310 and the fee to the Mayor can range from $18,630 to $42,120.
Council’s report says the Independent Local Government Review Panels’ report identifies that the decisions of the Tribunal appear to under-value the decision making responsibilities of Councillors.
“Councillors invest significant amounts of time in preparing for and attending Council meetings, information/briefing sessions and meeting with community groups,” the report states.
“Councillors also attend community events and are availabel to discuss issues with the community at all times.
“Experience has shown that the majority of councils in NSW set the Mayoral/Councillor fees at the maximum level.”
Present for the vote were Councillors Godfrey Adamthwaite (Deputy Mayor and Chairperson), Hollee Jenkins, Sue George, Tony McNamara, Tony Jarrett, Val Scott and Danny Thompson.
Apologies ( therefore absent from the meeting) were received from Mayor Moore and Councillors Sarah Lukeman and John Martin.