Mississauga councillor moves to reduce power, salary of Peel Region chair
Published October 19, 2021 at 10:17 am
A Mississauga councillor is pushing for changes to council bylaws which would slash the Peel Regional Chair’s salary and cut their term in half.
At last week’s council meeting, Councillor Carolyn Parrish of Mississauga’s Ward 5 put forward a notice of motion asking council to explore bylaw changes which could see the term of council’s chair from four years to two and cut a $890,000 budget for the chair’s salary, staff members, vehicle and other perks.
As well as trimming the budget, bylaw changes would see any Councillor appointed chair stay a member of their municipal council and create the roll of two vice-chairs. The chair and vice-chair positions would be filled by councillors from different parts of the Region, meaning no one Peel municipality could have a representative in two of the three positions.
This “parallel method” would help “unite the three municipalities” and “knit the council together,” Parrish said.
But not everyone on council agreed, including Brampton Councillor Michael Palleschi who said the changes were a way for Mississauga to “keep the foot on the necks” of Caledon and Brampton.
Speaking to insauga.com, Parrish said councillors opposed to her motion were “ragging the puck” and sticking to the old political adage of “when you can’t win, delay.”
Parrish said the bylaw changes would help do away with the chair’s sizable salary, which she credited to years of “budget creep,” and is not a criticism of current Regional Chair Nando Iannicca.
Iannicca declared a conflict of interest in the chair debate before excusing himself from Thursday’s meeting for a prior engagement. He was appointed in December 2018, and his four-year term will conclude in November of 2022.
Iannicca formerly held the position of Regional Councillor for Ward 7 in Mississauga.
The Regional Chair is the political head of the Region and CEO of the Regional Corporation. The Chair is elected by the 24 members of Regional Council to preside over meetings of Council and to ensure its decisions are implemented. The chair also represents the Region when dealing with other levels of government.
After hours of amendments and procedural votes on Thursday, council voted to ask staff to organize a public meeting for region residents to address the motion and the draft bylaw.
No date for the public meeting has been set.
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