Letters to the Editor

‘Experts’ need supervision

Editor:

Re: Council agrees to smaller pay hikes; Lower tax hike: Baldwin; Nine to review Fraser Health spending, Nov. 21.

Your issue of Nov. 21 contained three disturbing stories with a common theme: public servants out of control.

First we read how White Rock city staff have recommended a raise for their bosses because they were asked last March to review the politicians’ remuneration – but no mention of who made this request.

Was it the senior management showing initiative? “Please, boss can you have a raise?” Maybe later, they will come back and ask for their own increase too, using the same self-serving logic – other cities do it this way. (Editor’s note: council directed staff last March to investigate raising remuneration.)

It seems White Rock has fallen behind more of these self-promoting groups elsewhere in B.C. Nobody asks: who cares?

Has anyone noticed there’s no shortage of candidates for office or senior management? Let’s hope they are not doing it just for the money.

All of these people need to be reminded they are public servants and they all work for us. So there should be a ‘public compensation committee,’ with 10 volunteers acting as the public’s independent board of directors. They could hold an open public hearing where the public could make their wishes known.

A similar inquiry is needed for hearing why the city’s tax rate is going to shoot through the ceiling. The finance director’s excuse – that this is to fund capital improvements – will not wash. As she knows, acquisition of such assets are amortized over extended time frames, not in the next tax year.

And who decided we need a new city hall? Let’s not hear that we voted for these guys, so they can make all the decisions. This is our money and voting once every four years is obviously not working.

Another example; this time at the provincial level, is the government appointing its own senior health bureaucrats to suggest improvements to one of their colleague’s operations at Fraser Health. Once again, this will all be done in private, by ‘experts,’ holding an endless set of private meetings.

The NDP health critic is right to demand more public input, but what is needed is more transparency. The ‘light of day’ will kill these paper-pushing vampires.

The common thread here is that all these ‘experts’ think they know best when it comes to spending public money. It’s not just a coincidence that these ‘clever’ types make far more money than the vast majority of taxpayers.

Herb Spencer, Surrey

 

 

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