By Elias Hazou
Yeroskipou municipality probably fumbled it on Tuesday when it sought to set the record straight regarding its mayor’s remuneration.
In a statement, the municipality said mayor Michalis Pavlides was among the lowest paid mayors on the island.
The statement came in the wake of the publication of the Auditor-general’s report for 2013.
The report listed the gross salaries of all 39 mayors, with Pavlides among the highest paid at €62,067 per annum.
The number was then reproduced by several media outlets.
But the report misreported Pavlides’ income, which was really €50,354, Yeroskipou municipality said.
The figure published in the Auditor-general’s report was due to erroneous information ‘accidentally’ furnished to the official, it added.
According to the municipality, the mayor’s salary – as approved by the ministries of finance and the interior – has been set at 80 per cent of an MP’s salary, which is €5,584. That works out to €4,467. From that number a further 10 per cent is deducted and goes toward a local food bank, as “a measure to help deal with the economic crisis.”
That left €4,020 a month for the Yeroskipou mayor, or €50,354 per annum (including the 13th salary).
Nevertheless, the data in the Auditor-general’s report does show that, far from being a poor relation, the Yeroskipou mayor earned an income well above the median.
Mayors’ salaries vary wildly. The most handsomely paid in 2013 were Paphos mayor Savvas Vergas – in the spotlight over a series of alleged financial scandals – and Limassol mayor Andreas Christou at €70,635.
Next in line was Strovolos mayor Lazaros Savvides at €70,412, followed by Nicosia’s Constantinos Yiorkatzis at €65,907 and Larnaca’s Andreas Louroutziatis at €62,656. Another high-roller was Peyia mayor Neofytos Akoursiotis at €62,544.
By contrast, the lowest mayoral salaries hovered around the €28,000 mark.
In his report, the Auditor-general recommends that, given several municipalities are “on the verge of financial collapse,” a review of the remuneration of municipality officials is advisable.
The official notes also that, according to regulations governing municipalities’ budgets, the remuneration and representation allowance of a deputy mayor in a given municipality must not exceed 15 per cent of the corresponding amount paid to the mayor.
Despite this, 11 deputy mayors earned more than the 15 per cent allowable threshold.