Power over payment

It is fitting that criticism of the size of municipal stipends in Qualicum Beach should arise in an election year, even if there is no hope of reconsideration.

It is fitting that criticism of the size of municipal stipends in Qualicum Beach should arise in an election year, even if there is no hope of reconsideration.

Justification comes from reports which put our remunerations in the top half of the list of comparable communities studied. This is sad as I would hope our elected officials would want to be in the van for moderation.

Politics at the municipal level is a purely voluntary activity. It is not designed to be a major source of income. The attraction is the self-gratification from serving the community, the potential for influencing progress according to the residents’ wishes.

In other words, a modicum of power for positive use.

This principle appears to have been lost here as stipends have increased 100 per cent in the past decade and they will continue to increase at the rate of annual cost of living.

Onwards and upwards from the current $19,000-plus.

I wonder how many of our taxpaying citizens on fixed incomes have seen this sort of progression? Or those on close-to-minimum wage?

It is being suggested that the number of councillors be increased. Fine, if you want more feet in the trough.

I suggest that it might be more advantageous to reduce the amount of their  peripheral activity and concentrate on the important matters that are essential to the town’s well-being — with stipends and expenses to match.

F. H. Horner, Qualicum Beach