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Letters: We cannot afford these salaries

'A community of 32,000 inhabitants cannot sustain the expense of three separate local government entities, including more than 20 elected officials, that in salaries, benefits and travel allowance equal a price tag to us, the taxpayers, of over $ 1.2 M. '

Editor: 

Data from the Canada 2021 Census reports a mean per capita income on the Sunshine Coast of $39K, an average employment income of $30K, and an average total household income of $50K. During the past eight months, the SCRD has been posting new job opportunities with salaries ranging from $85K to $135K, with generous benefits, including four weeks annual vacation, 13 paid stats, compensatory leave in lieu of overtime, sick leave, paid family responsibility leave, 35 hour work week, pension plan, relocation allowance and more. These benefits amount easily to an additional 50K above salary.  It is arrogant and insensitive to tax those of us who are surviving on a fixed income of $39K to finance these luxury salaries. The SCRD elitist belief in a never-ending supply of local tax money has to stop. 

A community of 32,000 inhabitants cannot sustain the expense of three separate local government entities, including more than 20 elected officials, that in salaries, benefits and travel allowance equal a price tag to us, the taxpayers, of over $ 1.2 M. The SCRD board has distinguished itself by supporting, almost unanimously, staff recommendations. The “modus operandi” seems to be that a larger work force, an increasing number of projects and more tax revenue equals efficiency and competence. There has never been an inquiry about maintenance problems, equipment failure and budget over-runs. Demotions, salary reductions or contract terminations have never been  implemented. 

The lack of due diligence for taxpayers is endemic and far-reaching.  In Vanderhaegle vs. SCRD, a Supreme Court judge uncovered with clinical precision the malaise that afflicts our elected officials. “Essentially,” she wrote, “they rubber-stamped staff recommendations.” 

Jaime Gonzalez 

Langdale 

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