Surrey’s mayor and eight councillors raked in $1,020,072 last year in pay, car allowance, travel costs, communications and other expenses.
All together, council booked a grand total of $53,539 in conference and travel costs, $12,009 in seminar/meeting expenses, $865,160 in remuneration and indemnities, $74,060 in car allowance, and $15,304 in communications in 2019.
As might be expected, given his position, Mayor Doug McCallum topped the chart with a total bill of $186,891 for taxpayers, followed by Councillor Laurie Guerra ($109,697), Councillor Allison Patton ($109,132), Doug Elford ($108,949), Councillor Linda Annis ($108,915), Councillor Brenda Locke ($101,368), Councillor Jack Hundial ($99,739), Councillor Mandeep Nagra ($98,283), and Councillor Steven Pettigrew ($97,098).
Of the nine council members, Elford’s conference and travel costs were the highest at $9,611 and Hundial’s were the lowest, at $330. Councillor Linda Annis had the heftiest seminar/meeting expenses bill, at $5,049, while Hundial’s was once again the lowest at $429. Annis spent the most on communications, at $1,861, and Locke the least, at $1,617.
McCallum topped the list for car allowance at $14,580, while the councillors each received $7,435.
The mayor also received $161,727 in remuneration and indemnities, followed by Hundial ($89,774), Annis and Patton ($89,773), Guerra ($89,772), Locke ($86,555), Elford ($89,535), Pettigrew ($85,730) and Nagra ($82,521).
Council received the staff report Monday, July 27, in accordance with Section 168 of the Community Charter.
Pettigrew was the only council member to speak to it during the “virtual” council meeting.
“We’re talking about a very large amount of income that we’re pulling in here,” he said. “I just want people to know I’m very thankful for the opportunity to be here, I’m thankful that they put me in this position and I want everyone to know I take the job very seriously. I try to keep my expenses down and I treat this like a regular job – I do my best to be able to call people back and to respond to people, and I just want you to know that I’m going to continue to do my best to make wise decisions and to represent you, to be fair.
“I want this to be a better city,” Pettigrew continued. “I do understand that we work for you.”