Revelstoke City Councillor Steven Cross resigned from his position at a Special Council Meeting Jan. 21, after his fellow councillors agreed to give themselves raises.
He read his resignation statement after his motion to remove the proposed mayor and councillor raises from the budget and direct the money to infrastructure or road projects instead, was defeated.
“Mayor and fellow councillors I am resigning from this council… for the following reasons, approving pay raises of 134 per cent for mayor and 67 per cent for councillors in a budget year where the town has a $500,000 revenue hole to deal with and our roads are a mess is a choice of self-interest over mission of service to our community,” he said.
“I can’t support that.”
The proposed increase will see the mayor’s salary increase from $30,600 a year to $70,000 a year and council salaries from $15,300 a year to $25,000, implemented over three years.
Cross went on to say that the choice to give mayor and councillors a raise “is a choice to forgo transparency and to erode public trust in how we work and make decisions.”
The proposed increase would also potentially see the Mayor paid significantly more than the councillors.
“Such a large pay gap does not foster a positive sense of team and I don’t believe it is the leadership model that is right for our community,” Cross said.
For his fourth and final point Cross expressed his disappointment with the intention to phase in the raises right away instead of when the next council is elected.
“This is not the act of making stewardship a priority, but rather the act of personal benefit first,” he said. “The choices made on these matters erodes the public’s faith and trust and I will not be a party to that practice. Nor can I continue to work with this group when self-interest is so clearly being chosen over the mission of service we were elected for.”
The Mayor said he was disappointed with Cross’ decision, but thanked him for his service.