Re: ‘Constructed criticism’ April 15 letters
Stephen Crozier was upset with the criticism by former mayor, Wayne Baldwin of the present White Rock City council’s excessive tax increases. That council, headed by Mayor Walker’s slate, was elected, except two out of seven, under the banner of Democracy Direct.
As a former three-term mayor, I, too, have many concerns about the path our council is on – in particular the excessive staff growth.
Why, for example, does a ‘no growth’ council need to hire an additional planner? Is this not hypocritical in the extreme? Sure, they have hidden the cost for 2021 by paying for it from reserves, but it will have to come from taxes in subsequent years. The taxpayers are still on the hook – they just don’t know it yet.
A recent consultant report concluded that the council had twice as many committees, meeting twice as frequently as needed. The budget currently has an increase of $100,000 for clerical staff to cater to these committees. Why won’t the council follow the expert recommendations thereby negating the requirement for the $100,000 tax increase? Perhaps, that is because that would upset too many of their supporters who largely populate these superfluous committees.
Mr. Crozier trivializes the “average” tax increase by equating it to “two takeout coffees” a month and inserts a little ‘class warfare’ by saying those who live in their “million dollar homes” should not be concerned about tax increases.
Well, Mr. Crozier, many of those “million dollar homes” were bought years ago by seniors like me who are living on fixed incomes.
If I choose to spend my limited money on takeout coffee, that is my prerogative. However, I do not choose to give my money to a council to whimsically and wastefully spend it for me.
Hardy Staub, former mayor, City of White Rock