REPAY or resign.
That is the message one Canning ratepayer has for Mayor Paul Ng after he reneged on an election promise to cut the mayoral salary by 50 per cent.
Wilson Residents and Ratepayers Association (WRRA) member Blair Campbell said Cr Ng should stand down unless he fulfilled his pledge to cut his mayoral allowance by 50 per cent and repaid the money he had already received.
“(Cr Ng) made it pretty clear that he was going to cut his salary by 50 per cent,” he said.
“If he thinks he’s entitled to money because he didn’t know how much he would be paid then it shows he had no idea what a major undertaking becoming mayor was.
“If he was prepared to accept $23,000 why does he all of a sudden need the extra money?”
Mr Campbell, who also nominated for mayor, criticised the mayor’s decision not to disclose his full salary when asked at council meetings.
“He has been given the opportunity to clarify at council meetings,” he said.
“I think he fundamentally misled the electors. He has failed to explain when he was asked twice and I think he should step down,” he said.
“He needs to show courage and resign or repay the money – those are the only two viable choices.”
WRRA acting chairman Bill Prince said he was disappointed in Cr Ng’s decision not to halve his full entitlements.
“I’d like him to rethink the situation because it doesn’t reflect well on the mayoral position,” he said.
“I am disappointed in what he’s doing by what doesn’t appear to be upholding his promise to the City of Canning,”
Cr Ng said it was a misunderstanding. He claimed he didn’t fully understand what a mayor was entitled to when he promised to cut the salary in half – believing a mayor was only entitled to just an annual attendance fee.
“When I became Mayor I believed that my official salary was the attendance fee, and as I promised I have only taken 50 per cent of that fee,” Cr Ng said.
“The allowance is a different amount that is to cover the day-to-day expenses of being a Mayor in a very large and busy City.
“However, I do understand that there could be a perception that this too is considered a salary, rather than an allowance.”
Cr Ng said he expected ratepayers to accept his decision to retain the full allowance, calling it essential.
“I do believe that to be fully able to undertake my duties of Mayor at the City of Canning the allowance is essential,” he said.
“I, unlike any Mayor, have taken a reduction in my attendance fee, and I sincerely believe the Canning community will see the benefit of my commitment and dedication.”
What was said
On September 16 last year at a public meeting, Paul Ng pledged to cut his salary in half if elected Mayor of the City of Canning.
“I will lead by example. If elected as Mayor, I will personally cut my salary by 50 per cent. Or donate the 50 per cent back to where it is needed. It is best for everyone to have a job by each sacrificing a little. Exercise restraint,” he said at the time.
After the election, Cr Ng cut his attendance fee by 50 per cent, from $46,350 to $23,175.
However, he accepted the full $87,550 annual local government allowance – putting his annual salary about $110,725 not including a $3500 information and communication technology payment.
If Cr Ng halved the entire mayoral entitlements, his annual salary would be closer to $66,950 per annum.