News » Whistler

Letters to the Editor

Reduce; don't grow


Page 3 of 12

Jack Mann



A modest proposal

Re: RMOW Budgets

Boy, the Finance Department and the Administrator at the Resort Municipality of Whistler seemed to be completely stumped on how to make up the "shortfall" between revenues and their proposed spending. These people have been out of the real business world for so long they just cannot seem to grasp the thought of spending equal to revenues. They have been fed at the trough of the developers for so long and they have entrenched such a large bureaucracy at the municipal hall that they no longer speak to us normal taxpayers and citizens as they are off in their own "entitled world." We have had tax hike after tax hike ( 21.5 per cent in four years) and the citizens are getting extremely angry and upset at the lack of fiscal responsibility shown by the mayor and council and particularly the managers at city hall who feel entitled to whatever they want.

The first idea is that since so little development is going on now, why do we still have the huge planning, development and building inspection departments? Secondly, since we are not growing, why do we keep building new trails and new things in all of the parks? I am completely happy with the facilities and services we have and do not expect or need more. JUST STOP SPENDING!

In last week's paper Jim Kennedy stated that the current payroll is $26 million and the municipal deficit has been "reduced" to just $1.4 million. Jimbo recommended that staff at muni hall agree to a five per cent pay rollback to save a further $1.3 million. While I have two minds to that, I am sure that the people who anticipate a four per cent increase every year (so that their salary doubles every 15 years by the way), would not even consider a wage freeze much less a rollback.

Here is another thought, I am not sure how many citizens realize it but our municipal staff actually don't work full time even though they are paid full time plus incredible benefits. Our municipal workers are somehow "entitled" to only work 36 hours per week. Sort of like the French government tried based on some crazy theory that that policy would make more jobs.

So, my modest proposal is that our municipal workers start working a 40-hour week at minimum, for the full time pay and benefits they are already receiving. What a concept. Work 40 hours per week. This in theory should give us a 10 per cent productivity improvement and save us $2.6 million per year. It is about time our municipal employees share at least some realities of the world with the rest of the workers and taxpayers in Whistler.