LETTERS: Shame to set own wages

Editor: Re: Public service, April 4 editorial.

Editor:

Re: Public service, April 4 editorial.

It is time that B.C.’s political elite join the 21st century when it comes to paying themselves.

Many jurisdictions do not allow elected mayors and councils to set their own remuneration for serving the public.

New Zealand, for example, has the independent Remuneration Authority that sets the pay for municipal elected officials, as well as those people serving as members of Parliament. The authority has been in existence since 1977 and working against established criteria. No mayor and council can adjust their rate; no regional authority can vote for their own salary.

Meanwhile, Washington State has long established that people elected to serve in Olympia can only get a retirement package of 7½ per cent of their earnings while serving. There are no retroactive increases.

It is time that British Columbia’s politicians stop thinking of their own salaries and focus on serving the public. Let appropriate independent bodies set their wages, not the politicians themselves.

Ken Wuschke, White Rock

• • •

An open letter to Metro Vancouver board and White Rock mayor and councillors.

Add my voice to the many who have spoken up about this obvious poor judgment by appointed members.

Unlike many taxpayers, many councillors are not coping with one wage or a fixed low income.

I observe that some elected reps have additional or primary paid work/careers, some may be collecting CPP and certainly several have significant assets. In wee White Rock, the meeting workload of councillors as part-time with significant remuneration accommodates things to add to wages – for example, with Coun. Grant Meyer on BC Ferries with his full-time job.

Other people who are self-employed or are contractors choose to use their income wisely, pay tax and invest in retirement saving plans and more. We have no perks and often volunteer in the community without compensation.

One would think an elected representative would have this modest skill/knowledge of self-care and the capacity to also save for retirement. Each elected rep does make significant financial decisions using our taxpayers’ funds and trust.

Pat Petrala, White Rock

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