Letters to the Editor

In my previous letter to the editor January 12,2005 I provided a notification of an event that occurred at the regular meeting of council held January 4,2005 regarding bylaw 492,2005.

I wish to update you on the results of that item.

I was a delegation on the Agenda of the regular meeting of council January 17,2005 to seek clarification on this bylaw.

During my presentation I asked the following questions of the different members of council.

What is your understanding of the criteria, formula and rationale used to set the stipend amount for the position of mayor?

On Equity/Parity with other municipalities how many were surveyed, how many our size how many part time vs. fulltime mayors?

Was UBCM or MCMA consulted?

What is your and councils expectation of the benefits the community will derive from this increase?

How does this council view the future position of Mayor?

A permanent ?part-time position with minimum hours per week on site, in addition to regular meetings?

Something else?

Can you briefly describe the duties and responsibilities of Mayor?

How will the position of acting mayor be impacted? Will the stipend be passed down on a per occurrence basis from the mayor? Will the acting mayor be subject to the same guidelines?

Did you or any councillor consider other options, contract for this year only, personnel assistant to the mayor, redistribution of workload amongst councillors portfolios, one time bonus to this mayor?

What follows is a summation in part of quotes and answers given by the Council to my questions.

It appears the primary rationale for raising the position of Mayor’s salary by $11,916 per annum as stated by the Council ?was to compensate and ?recognize all of the time he has put into the office of Mayor and we all felt he was grossly underpaid?. No Mayor as done so much, gone to so many meetings and ?chased down every opportunity to keep this town alive?. If it weren?t for his tireless efforts ?we would not be sitting here today?. It is unfair to compare this community to Taylor or Chetwynd when ?they haven’t had to fight the battle we had to?. As a result of this increase the community will now have ?more access to the Mayor as he will not have to work out of town and will be in his office more to be available to the citizens?. One councillor stated that he would have liked to seen this increase retro active to the beginning of the Mayor’s term but that can’t happen. ?All we are doing is paying him for the time he?s putting in and for all he has been doing for a long time?.

Since council is not required to provide verbatim minutes, neither will I provide verbatim answers, however with council?s knowledge my presentation was taped.

To conclude the disposition of this bylaw, at the regular council meeting of January 17,2005 Bylaw 492,2005 was passed unanimously by Councillor’s Kirby, McPherson, Way and Mayor Iles.

This writer was asking questions about the justification for the increase to the position of mayor and the future, and the Council was providing in their answers reasons for the person of the present mayor.

The general theme of their comments was this community has already seen the benefits and will continue to see the benefit from this mans dedication.

I leave it to the reader to draw their own conclusions to the questions I asked on January 12, is this REASONABLE? Is this RESPONSIBLE? Is this REQUIRED? Is this RESPECTFUL of the taxpayers?

Were do I stand? I am as opposed to a one fell swoop increase of 85% for the position of mayor as I am to the 92.5% increase to my property assessment. Both could become a burden to my ability to pay my taxes and as such are not respectful of me. At least the latter gives me the benefit of selling my home. Let?s hear your story or viewpoint.

Brian Sipe