LETTER: Alberni council’s vote was a conflict of interest, says writer

The real issue is this: elected officials should not be able to vote themselves increases.

To the Editor,

Members of Port Alberni City Council, once again, voted themselves a raise last week. They did exactly the same thing a year ago.

CAO Tim Pley, made a recommendation to council that he, along with all of the other excluded managers—22 of them—should receive a 2.1 percent increase, with the same increase for the mayor and council. There was virtually no debate or discussion of the issue.

Increasing the pay of excluded managers, along with the mayor and council in one, single motion is misleading and creates a conflict. The motion put forward should have been two motions—an increase for the managers, and an increase for council. That way, those councillors with integrity, could vote against the motion for a raise for the mayor and council.

But the real issue is this: elected officials should not be able to vote themselves increases.

This is a conflict, and is disrespectful to the taxpayers.

If their justification for the pay raise is “similar communities have approved the same increase”, I respectfully beg to differ.

Port Alberni is not similar to any community on the Island because its economy is stagnant. Inequality, child poverty, and unemployment is rampant in this community. Three and a half years of this council has resulted in zero economic growth, but they gave themselves a raise anyway.

Rosalind Chapman,

Port Alberni

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