Let’s get this out of the way right now. No one intends to get elected to Town Council for fame and fortune. That was most certainly not my goal when I tossed my hat in the ring in 1999 and again in 2018 when I finally did get elected.
I wanted to get involved for various other reasons.
Primarily, I thought it would be great to be part of a team that pushed Princeton into the future. I never really thought of myself as a single voice around the council table. Instead, I view myself as a part of the machine that drives the community forward. Sure, I have opinions, attitudes, points of view, disagreements, etc. I have voted against some motions made during meetings. I think that’s all a normal part of the process.
But Don’t We Make A Bundle Spending Taxpayer's Money?
I receive remuneration monthly. It totals $1,037.63 (gross) with $42.52 going to CPP leaving $995.11 (net) each month. Sure, I have an expense account that covers convention fees. As for extras, I only claim for my mileage and not the permitted food allowance simply because I figure I’m going to be eating anyway, so I’ll cover those costs.
Regardless, it’s not a lot of dough and I’m okay with that.
What Others Are Making In Local Government
I did a quick survey of a few other communities for comparison. Councillors at the Town of Osoyoos earn (rounding up/down) $1,585 per month. In Penticton, Councillors earn $2,225 monthly. In Merritt, it’s $1,500 per month for a Councillor. So, as you can see, fame and fortune are not part of the incentive to seek election.
Speaking of Fame…
I can’t forget to explain that (as you can imagine) I sometimes feel like I have a target on my back. I spend numerous hours monthly on Town Council business. If it’s not preparing for a meeting or attending one, I’m at one of several committee meetings that are part of my council appointments. Then I try to attend some public functions. It doesn’t always work out as I’m also juggling my home-based business and the commitments that come from that.
Oh, and there’s the social media activity. Usually, I get a few private messages when I’m not ‘tagged’ in posts. I get stopped downtown while conducting personal business to discuss issues. The odd time someone will show up at my door. I get emails. I get phone calls. I’m expected to have all the answers, which is impossible. I’m also fortunate in that I probably get fewer interruptions than anyone else on Town Council.
It Comes With The Territory
By the way, I don’t consider any of the contact people make with me as interruptions. To be honest with you, I quite enjoy the interaction and meeting some people I don't already know. I try to make myself accessible so I can be reached. I figure that's the least I can do as I am considered a public official.
I used to have my social media feeds locked down tight but decided that just shuts me off of the people I’m supposed to represent at the council table. But I do think the community is getting a pretty good deal from me, for just $995.11 (net) a month. If you think the same thing, please remember to vote for me, George Elliott, on October 15. Thank you!
My name is George Elliott. I have been in the Media Industry since 1978. I spent 23 years in Broadcasting and worked in a total of six different radio stations located in southern British Columbia Canada during my career. In 2000 I switched gears and moved into the Print Media Industry at a small town, local weekly community newspaper. In 2004 I bought the paper and operated it with my wife, Brenda until July 2016 when we closed it. I launched a freelance web content and article writing business from my home in January 2014.