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Mayor’s raise doesn’t add up
Re: City braces for a tax bump, Nov. 19.
It’s easy to see why the homeowners of White Rock are being asked for another $150 tax increase on top of last year’s record high taxes.
It’s interesting that the city is asking for millions of more tax dollars from its citizens, and at the same time the mayor and council vote to make the mayor one of the most expensive mayors, per capita, in B.C.
I am confused by the report prepared by White Rock’s CAO and staff, and the recommendation voted on by mayor and council to raise the salary of the mayor from approximately $60,000 to $74,000.
I believe the recommendations are flawed and misleading.
Based on the report that uses Pitt Meadows, Port Moody and the City of Langley as a base for an increase to the mayor’s pay, the data clearly shows justification for a change to the mayor’s salary. But rather than a whopping 23 per cent increase, the data reveals the mayor’s salary should be decreased by almost $5,000.
The three communities used as a comparative have a combined mayoral compensation of $217,341 and a combined population of 75,792, which equates to a per-capita cost of $2.86. The new per-capita cost in White Rock is $3.83 – a 34 per cent premium.
With a population of 19,339, this means a comparative salary for White Rock’s mayor would be $55,309.
The massive pay hike approved means each citizen in White Rock is paying far more for their mayor than our neighbours in Delta and Surrey. Even pricey West Van has a lower cost per capita for the mayor at $1.70. The mayor of West Van serves a community that is over twice the population of White Rock and covers 17 times the area. The cost per capita for the mayor of West Van is 44 per cent of what the mayor and council has approved for the mayor of White Rock.
Another way of saying it is, we will be paying 2.25 times the per-capita cost for our mayor than they do in West Van. Funny how they left West Van out of the report, isn’t it?
While I can understand why the mayor would vote in favour of such a raise, I wonder why the staff would present such recommendations.
Also interesting is that with the special tax exemption of one-third granted to council salaries, the remuneration is much higher than the number the city has revealed. When the exemption is taken into consideration, you are really talking about a salary of around $95,000.
The bottom line? In White Rock not only do we have one of the most expensive local governments in B.C. – per capita – we now have one of the most expensive mayors.
This kind of reckless spending needs to stop before the fiscal mismanagement of the City of White Rock forces us to once again take a serious look at having to join Surrey to save us from ourselves.
Ross Buchanan, White Rock