The local daily papers have recently been publicizing the apparent profligacy of urban and regional elected officials on the Lower Mainland. High-priced travel and other activities have resulted in some breathtaking expense accounts.
We haven’t reached these dizzy heights in Qualicum Beach, but it appears that the “gimme-gimme” syndrome has taken hold.
To start with, our elected group are about to give themselves an approximate 50 per cent raise in stipend with an annual cost of living increase to match the B.C. Consumer Price Index (We lucky ones drawing federal pensions get cost of living minus two per cent as our ‘perhaps’ pittance.
Representing the citizens is the intent of local politics. A modest recompense should go with the power and influence supplied by the position. It is not intended to be a self-sufficient income.
Council should rethink this.
The schedule of staff remuneration is running in excess of $4 million, plus benefits.
This compares with a budget of $15.5 million, about 25 to 30 per cent of total spending.
Within this schedule lie six-figure salaries, a starting wage of almost $20 per hour for a new, unskilled office assistant and a wide variety of salaries in between.
We seem to be losing sight of the fact that town staff work for U.S. and we should not be excluded from secretive impositions of employment contracts and union agreements