I read last week that Bob MacPherson has been appointed the acting (Chief Administrative Officer). It would seem this would be a great time for the municipality to show some creative job sharing by having him assume the role on a permanent basis and distribute his general manager of community life role.
This would eliminate a salary and allow the RMOW to give Bob "reasonable" compensation as the new CAO. It may also show that knowing of Mr. (Bill) Barrett's retirement the RMOW had a succession plan in place and that they are trying to be financially responsible.
Muni out of touch?
Muni hall has turned into a real cash grab. It seems really odd to me that our municipal government is engaging our tax dollars in commercial business opportunities that compete directly with local businesses who are really struggling to survive in this bleak economy.
It's bad enough that our tax dollars constantly subsidize redundant salaries and unjustifiable pay increases at muni hall. There is nothing we can do about that, but we are now faced with having to subsidize start up businesses that clearly would not survive on their own and are using our taxpayer's dollars to take money out of the pockets of existing businesses, which are struggling to survive.
This makes no sense. Municipal government exists to provide the community with essential services. That's it. Playing real estate czar, restaurateur, parking lot czar and propping up a Center for Sustainability, among other things, should not be a part of any municipal mandate.
Why not use hotel tax money to subsidize day skier parking lots and local bus transportation, both used by tourists, rather than opening a restaurant in an outpost neighbourhood that would never be profitable on its own?
Pie in the sky philosophies about sustainable practice are all fine and good, but when the effect of those policies implode the financial well being of those who are paying the bills, it all has to stop.
Clearly, we have folks in charge who have overstepped the boundary of their intended job description and are not in touch with reality.
In the real world, businesses have shareholders to answer to when they want to take on new projects or simply burn cash. Well, at muni hall, those shareholders are called voters and it is my hope that the current mayor and council are all voted out this fall so we can start with a clean slate and get on with practicing fiscal sustainability at muni hall.