Voting yourself a big pay hike isn’t the best look

News: Parksville council voted unanimously to approve a pay raise for the city’s mayor and councillors.

Views: We’ll reiterate what we said when Qualicum Beach council members did exactly the same thing not too long ago – at the very least, the optics aren’t ideal, even if they’re the only ones who can set remuneration for their positions.

First, let’s start by saying they all deserve the pay hike. Again, the pay for these jobs has always been absurdly low. Trying to attract more candidates, especially young people, is extremely difficult given the hours required by the position.

Long hours and constant criticism can be tough to deal with, even weighed against the notion of doing your part for the betterment of the community.

It’s not an easy job.

If you want good people, good representatives, you’re going to have to pay them. Makes good sense. We need a wide range of candidates – men and women, young and old.

But voting yourselves a hike (mayor’s salary jumps to $52,500 from $40,941, and councillors to $30,000 from $16,929) just months into your term?

READ MORE: Parksville council members vote themselves a hike in pay

Get it out of the way early so it’s not a big election issue next time around?

We still like what Coun. Adam Walker of Qualicum Beach proposed when that group was busy hiking their pay at taxpayers’ expense. He suggested the amendment apply to the next term of council.

Acknowledge the need for the increase and ensure your successors are more fairly compensated. Just keep your own hands out of the trough in the present.

The notion that any of these folks didn’t know what they were getting themselves into is also mildly alarming. If you’re suddenly stunned by the time commitment and hadn’t bothered to ask a few questions ahead of time, that might be an issue. And it takes about three online clicks to find out the wages.

So one more time, we’re thankful for the people who choose to put their names forward as civic politicians. We appreciate their time and effort.

We believe their positions deserve more remuneration.

We want the best possible people in those positions, making decisions on our behalf.

We just question one of those decisions being quickly voting yourselves a hefty pay hike.

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