The Town of Osoyoos is looking at adding two councillors to its roster for the next election, as town council goes over budget proposals.
Osoyoos Mayor Sue McKortoff said no decision would likely come from Thursday’s talks, which come as staff turn a report on the matter over to council, outlining the cost of bumping the council count from four councillors and the mayor to six councillors and the mayor.
“It’s not anything that is pressing at this point, but we decided to, a few months back, to have a look at what would be the cost of doing this,” she said, adding there are towns of Osoyoos’s size that have seven-member councils, including neighbouring Oliver.
Although a legal quorum for a decision is three out of five, a controversial matter can lead to calls for the issue to be postponed if one or two councillors are missing that day, because of the low number of councillors on the roster to begin with.
“Which legally we can’t, because we’re doing everything totally by the book, but if we had more people on council, the chances of something like that, dealing with an issue with three members, it probably wouldn’t happen,” McKortoff said.
She said it is not a common occurrence, but that kind of thing has come up in past meetings once or twice before.
According to the staff report, remuneration for each councillor is $16,543, with benefits costing $1,371, and when councillors attend the UBCM conference that tends to add about $3,000 more.
If a councillor attends the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, that rings in at about $7,000, according to the staff report, which estimated $42,000 to $50,000 in total for two more councillors per year.
McKortoff said she couldn’t say whether or not it would be worth it to add two more members to council, but said it was “worth looking at.”
Council was set to discuss the matter in a special council meeting Thursday, in which they were considering a budget that would, if approved as is, add three per cent to property taxes.
A decision must be made to amend the bylaw to include two more councillors by April 2018 to be effective for the election next fall.