To the Editor,
I am utterly shocked that the mayor and council voted their successors, who I theorize that they hope to be themselves, substantial raises. By substantial I quote: “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.”
None abstained, not even by conflict of interest. Not even a public vote or referendum on such a huge expenditure? That adjustment for consumer price index would be a ridiculous laughable joke if it wasn’t real.
My monthly payments for my property taxes in Port Alberni (I’m a senior) went from $135 monthly to $171 monthly. That’s about 27 percent. Groceries and gas are skyrocketing. We’re all cutting and skimping to get by.
Not a single one of them will get my vote! Any mayor or councillor that adds any further cost to already extremely overburdened taxpayers should get out of their pipe dream and get out of office.
The absurd logic used to justify this self-serving increase reads like a spoof from a late night-comedy show. “Part of the reason for the large increase is because of a long-standing federal tax exemption for one-third of elected officials’s salaries that expired in 2019, reducing after-tax compensation for elected officials.” That hog trough perk of a salary tax exemption was long overdue for the boot. We taxpayers didn’t get that, it wasn’t fair for elected officials to get that.
“We as a community will benefit from higher wages on our council because we’re opening it up to being more accessible,” said Councillor Helen Poon. “So that more people can participate in council.” That statement is utterly without merit. We don’t need more mayors or councillors. We can’t afford the ones we have.
There should be no raises for councillors and mayors and any politicians without the approval of the public who has to pay for those raises. I call for the raises to be rescinded unless approved by a referendum of taxpayers.