A boring story about council salaries

Okay, let’s cover this briefly and hopefully never again. Robyn Doolittle with the Toronto Star:

In what will come as no surprise to anyone, the Ford administration has proposed a salary freeze for both the mayor and city councillors.The motion asks members of council to “lead by example,” by cancelling their scheduled cost-of-living increase.

via Council asked to give up cost of living increase – thestar.com.

Who cares. Who cares. Who cares. There has never been anything insightful written about politician salaries. You’ll hear a lot of bullshit about “leading by example” and the plight of this year’s middle class worker who isn’t getting a pay raise. None of it matters. If this council freezes their salaries for the entire term, eventually the city will just get to a point where a major increase is necessary because there does come a point where political jobs are so unattractive that only eccentric activists and bored rich kids are willing to wade into the pool. (The latter is way more dangerous than the former.)

Councillors are not overpaid relative to any standard. They’re not particularly underpaid either. It’s an incredibly tiny portion of the city’s budget. The smartest policy on this is to give an automatic cost-of-living increase every year and then never, ever bring up the issue again. But if council must grandstand and bring the issue up, then the media should do us the courtesy of not acting like it matters.


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