When one runs for council, it should be from the perspective of public service – that is, a servant of the citizens of White Rock.
These local positions are meant to serve the community, not “jobs” that one should expect and seek pay increases for after being elected. These are pay increases that come from the pockets of White Rock homeowners who are already overtaxed from all three levels of governance to an extreme degree.
Did these council members put: “I will seek a pay increase if elected” in their election platform?
Voting on your own pay increase is a bad joke. Shame on council for having the nerve to do so.
As well, I am shocked there are no clear and firm ethical boundaries set on who can run for council.
There should be strict ethical qualification rules which prevent local business representatives from running for council, particularly when their businesses stand to gain from being on council, whether by direct or indirect influence.
The structure of the council must be such that it leaves no doubt in the minds of the community that its council members are looking out for the best interests of the community and not feathering their own nests in any way.
The makeup of council should be such that it does not allow grounds for even the perception that the self-interests of a business owner may be overriding what is in the community’s best interests.
The current practice of a business owner/council member not taking part in a vote that impacts their business is a shamefully inadequate measure of community protection.
The lack of ethical regulation for our council operations is a hazard of significance the community – and its council – must act upon to ensure the community comes first, always.
To restore ethical legitimacy, council has to roll back their self-voted pay increase until the next election and declare such intentions in their election platform.
(Editor’s note: The pay increase – of about $3,000 for each councillor and $14,000 for the mayor – was finalized last November and is to take effect in January 2015.)
I highly doubt if they would be re-elected. And while they are doing that they can also revise the budget so as to provide a zero per cent increase in 2014 property taxes. When was the last time there was actually a reduction of the unsustainable burden being placed on White Rock homeowners?
David Bradshaw, White Rock