Mayor Gary St. Onge will be getting a hefty pay raise after the members of Estevan city council gave final approval to the remuneration review committee report Monday night.Originally presented during the July 12 regular meeting of council, the four-person committee's report included 10 different recommendations including a raise for the mayor of nearly $11,000.Nine of the 10 recommendations were passed with little or no changes. The only recommendation rejected dealt with whether or not the members of council should be docked pay for missing meetings.While the committee felt that the mayor and councillors should be docked $200 for every meeting they miss, regardless of excuse, council felt that was too punitive. "I don't believe we should punished for a sickness or a vacation," said councillor Roy Ludwig who recommended that council members should be allowed two unexcused absences per year and be docked $200 for subsequent unexcused absences. "I don't want to have anything that is going to deter anybody from running for council," added councillor Chris Istace who suggested that one unexcused absence per quarter year might be the route to take.Following a brief debate, council decided to go with Ludwig's suggestion of two unexcused absences before they are docked pay. It was also decided that the mayor should be penalized $400 to reflect his higher salary.The only other recommendation that received much debate was that increased salary for the mayor. The committee suggested the mayor should receive a raise, going from the current salary of $20,500 to $31,400 and that half of the increase be implemented Sept. 1 with the second half coming Jan. 1. It was also recommended that the six councillors receive a $205 raise.While they all felt both raises were sufficient, there was some debate as to when they should be implemented.St. Onge said he was OK with the first half coming on Sept.1 but felt the second half should not be implemented until Jan 1. 2012. Despite his objections, the recommendation was passed with no changes."I just felt it was such a big jump for the mayor," said St. Onge. "I had no problem with the ($5,450) in September but I would have rather seen the (rest) for 2012 so it would be in place for the next election."As for the increase itself, St. Onge felt it puts Estevan on par with cities of similar size and also reflects the amount of time the mayor works on behalf of the city."One of the concerns was, what if the mayor doesn't spend any time (working). I think that is up to the citizens to realize that this is the amount of time that needs to be spent here so if you can't devote that kind of time don't run," St. Onge said."But I think it basically where it should be. I would have like to see the councillors go up a little higher."