Or for Chief of Staff (Jacobs), or Director of Communications (Massoudi), or ' former reader of e-mails and pursuer of crack videos a/k/a Special Assistant' (Price) or 'receptionist & tropical fish wrangler a/k/a Special Assistant' (McEacheran). In other words, the slapped-on title of "Special Assistant" is no more significant than it would be to call an officer staffer "Lead Clog Dancer".
A CH officer staffer is hired to perform some combination of various parts of one or more of the four job descriptions, and the mayor or councillor in question gets to decide which one of the four job description categories fits the person (which sets the person's salary range) and how senior he or she is (which sets the person's salary within the range). The only real control over the mayor or the councillor is that he or she cannot spend more than his or her staff budget in total; thus, within 'the funding envelope' (as the cliche goes), the mayor or a councillor can decide how many staffers he or she wants to have at various levels (e.g., the more staff taken on in the higher salary ranges the less room is left to take people on in the lower salary ranges).
Councillor (Mayor gets a larger staff budget):
[h=2]Councillor staff salary budget[/h]Each Councillor is provided with an annual staff budget of $224,264.25, equivalent to the top of the salary range of an Executive Assistant, an Administrative Assistant and a Constituency Assistant. As 2014 is an election year, the budget is pro-rated to $204,501.50 for the period January 1 - November 30 and $19,762.75 for December 1 - 31, 2014.
Councillors can hire full-time or part-time staff from the following staff positions:
|Position||2014 salary||Hourly rate|
|Executive Assistant||$44,772.00 - $84,065.80||$24.60 - $46.19|
|Constituency Assistant||$36,836.80 - $69,669.60||$20.24 - $38.28|
|$36,836.80 - $69,669.60||$20.24 - $38.28|
|$28,173.60 - $52,889.20||$15.48 - $29.06|
In theory, a councillor could use his or her budget to take on only people at the highest possible rate (3 staff) or only people at the lowest possible rate (8 staff) - but the assumption of course is that a rational councillor will take on some mix of senior and junior staffers.