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Mayor and council in the District of West Vancouver are about to receive their first pay raises in ten years. The salaries expected in Squamish are not far from the increased salaries in the District of West Vancouver, a community with a population more than two-and-half-times the population of Squamish, with an average family income more than double the average family income in Squamish.
The salaries that currently exist in Squamish, population a mere 17,000, are comparatively high for council members and the mayor. Raises have already been received. At a time when there is an expectation that district staff will receive no increases, when families are suffering given the current state of the economy, when businesses and community organizations in Squamish are struggling, and when we will pay greater taxes to accommodate what is needed to run our community, raises are unacceptable.
As Councillor Race suggests, the money could be spent somewhere else in the community.
Furthermore, this is a conflict of interest; the notion that salary increases would be forthcoming should have been made clear to taxpayers during the election; on a platform statement, via a referendum, or in some other way; not presented to the taxpayer in the media, four months after the election. This is yet another example of why the public holds those in political office in such poor regard. Yes, mayors and council members can increase their own salaries, but they are also expected to behave ethically, and are accountable to the taxpayer and the electorate.
Thanks Sander, Race, Kirkham and Weys for your thoughtful and fiscally responsible responses to the suggested pay increases.
Vicki and Tom McCarthy
Thank you from the Dog House
This week I went through what everyone knows could happen, but thinks never will, when my home of the past 16 years caught fire while I was in it. The list of thanks I owe to everyone is so long I'm not sure where to start. First would have to be to Luke and Lance my duplex neighbours who were also home in their half where the fire started. Upon smelling smoke they discovered a bedroom full of smoke and a fire source. I'm not sure what the stats are for the percentage of people who when faced with an emergency situation run towards it instead of away, but both of these guys are in it.
Instead of saving what they could of their own they tried to smother the fire and then alerted us before returning with a kitchen fire extinguisher to try again.