If mayor and council in Qualicum Beach need more money to compensate them for an increased workload, maybe they should get more councillors around the table, says the chamber of commerce.
This week, chamber president and CEO Peter Doukakis responded to the news council had agreed to bump up the mayor’s stipend from its current $31,300 to $33,300 per year, while leaving councillors’ pay at $19,625 per year and dropping the stipend for deputy mayor from $3,700 to $2,000 per year.
“Being a local politician is and should be, about public service, not compensation,” Doukakis said. “If the workload is too great for five, then consider adding two more councilors to spread out the work and focus on providing quality service or quantity.”
With more members on council, he added, the councillors will be able to spread the work out around the table, leading to less stress on them and better service for the community.
“It’s not anyone’s fault, but when you have a growing community and an active community like we do, you are bound to have a few gaps that happen from time to time,” he said. “Everyone is trying to keep activities happening, but they get too specific on focusing on their main objectives and what they need to accomplish and by doing that they tend to isolate themselves a bit.”
Doukakis said the chamber and town staff met last week to address this very issue.
“Our solution is to create a sound institutional foundation, strategic direction and informed action plan in alignment with existing stakeholders. Let’s emphasize and create an environment in which business can last and deliver some long term payoffs, such as sustained community development and well- being.