As the saying goes (in general terms), if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.
So news that Wagga councillors and the city's mayor are now eligible for higher remuneration should be seen as good thing - for a number of reasons.
The latest Local Government Remuneration Tribunal report reveals Wagga City Council has shifted from the regional rural category to regional centre, meaning our councillors will be eligible for a pay rise.
The shift means an individual councillor's remuneration could be as high as $24,320 - an increase of $4040.
The mayor is eligible for an additional allowance of up to $60,080 - a figure that has increased by almost $16,000.
While the tribunal determines the maximum and minimum fees that can be paid to mayors and councillors, the decision on how much they actually get paid is ultimately one for the councillors themselves to decide.
Pay increases are typically determined via a vote at a council meeting.
Some in the community will, no doubt, have plenty to say about our councillors getting a pay rise.
However, the amount of time and effort our elected councillors put in to help create the wonderful city we call home should not be underestimated.
Most of our councillors work jobs, often full-time, on top of their civic duties and deserve to be remunerated accordingly.
As Wagga mayor Greg Conkey said, the role of a councillor has become more and more strenuous. Councillors have to be across many issues - and in the midst of a pandemic there are plenty of them.
It's unlikely many councillors are in the role for the money, rather they do it to serve the community and be a voice for residents.
Some hope the pay rise might attract more candidates for council elections.
At the end of the day, our councillors are not paid very much. In fact, Cr Conkey said regional NSW councillors were "poorly paid" when compared to those serving in other states, like Queensland.
Being a councillor is a tough job. Remember, as another saying goes, we all deserve a fair day's wage for a fair day's work.
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