To the Editor,
If you want to know why many property owners choose to live outside city boundaries, all you need to do is look at the salary increases coming for the mayor and council at the City of Port Alberni. (Port Alberni city council votes on pay raise for next council, July 12, 2021)
At a time when many property owners have had their lives turned upside down by the worst pandemic in our history, the mayor and council have approved salary increases that require a stonger word than the term “disgusting”.
While the mayor and council use the excuse of justifying such increases as being in line with prevailing increases in other municipalities, all they illustrate is how out of control municipal spending and taxation is today.
The salary for the mayor will be increased to $59,100 per year (a 39 percent increase) and the salary for councillors will be increased to $26,300 per year (a 40 percent increase), plus adjustments for Consumer Price Index.
These changes will take effect on Jan. 1, 2023, after the next municipal election (which is in 2022).
The job of mayor or council is not a full-time position in a town the size of Port Alberni. This is not the City of Vancouver, with a population of 600,000 people.
And those of us in rural areas should start looking at the ever increasing number of new and expensive jobs being created at the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District, and ever increasing rural property tax bills.