Letters to the Editor

Wages beyond compare


Re: Council agrees to smaller pay hikes, Nov. 21.

Here are some guidelines for our elected civic officials.

When you are talking politicians’ salaries, take notice of how Oak Bay and Sidney make it easy. They base any adjustments on the consumer price index for Victoria. A Jan. 3 article in the Oak Bay News is headlined “Council takes a pay cut.”

The article goes on to say, “Oak Bay council voted itself a 0.3 percent decrease in pay for the next year. The decrease is based on the adjusted year over year of Victoria’s consumer price index. In 2014 the mayor will be paid $28,108 and councillors will be paid $11,929. One-third of the total is paid as an allowance for expenses.”

The cities of Oak Bay and White Rock are of similar population. Oak Bay totals 18,060, compared to White Rock’s 19,500. Oak Bay has shoreline, three golf courses, two swimming pools, three rec centres and even their own police department, but no railway tracks.

They lack industry, as we do, but their property taxes are half of what ours are. This seems to prove that our costs are way out of line.

It’s past time to make significant cost reductions in every section of administration, and Oak Bay has given us the guidelines.

We no longer need to send staff out on a padded survey of salaries. Simply use the consumer price index for adjustment either way.

(Editor’s note: White Rock’s new remuneration formula – which takes effect in 2015 – replaces one that based council wages on the consumer price index for the City of Vancouver.)

Hey, and here’s another one to work on: the City of Prince George just finalized a contract with its employees for a two-year zero salary increase.

I’m sure we are as good as these other cities. Now we have the opportunity to show it.

Gerry Houlden, White Rock



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