Port Coquitlam Mayor Greg Moore is offering no apologies for accepting a taxpayer-funded transition allowance when he retires this fall.
Moore, who as Metro Vancouver’s board chair recently did an about-face on a proposed severance package for departing elected officials from the regional table, told The Tri-City News today (Tuesday) he’s entitled to the payout after the Oct. 20 civic election.
Moore announced late last year he would not seek another term; he has yet to decide on his next role after the municipal election.
The transition allowance — brought in nine years ago by city council — allows departing mayors to collect one-month pay for every year in the top job, to a maximum of six months.
In Moore’s case, that means he will receive $48,376 based on his $96,752 salary, said city spokesperson Pardeep Purewal.
Moore said the policy was modelled at the time after the city of North Vancouver and Surrey’s; it doesn’t apply to city councillors as their positions are not considered full time like the mayor’s “who is leaving his career,” he said.
The severance is “no different from anyone else’s,” Moore said. “There has to be an adjustment period to allow for retraining.”
Moore argued provincial and federal politicians receive transition allowances as well as their pensions when they leave public service (municipal politicians in B.C. get no pension). And he said elected officials aren’t eligible under the Employment Standards Act to collect employment insurance benefits.
As for the recent call by Coquitlam Coun. Teri Towner to have the provincial government standardize municipal officials’ pay, Moore takes a different tact.
He believes civic politicians should set their own remuneration rates — and take the heat for the consequences. In PoCo, council wages are based on the consumer price index and are not tied to the union collective agreement, like in other jurisdictions.