Re: Sooke councillors eye future pay raises (Online, April 25)
Before Sooke taxpayers consider weighing in or blessing any pay raises proposed by district council, they may want to consider a few things carefully.
Consider the overall governance model of the Capital Region, which includes Sooke, is broken and dysfunctional in the view of many. The decision before the council is one more example.
Regional taxpayers paid $3.3 million in salaries and expenses for the 13 municipal councils and the Capital Regional District in 2020, according to an analysis by Grumpy Taxpayer$.
There are 91 local mayors and councillors (hiked to 93 in 2023), 24 directors of the CRD and three electoral district directors on the municipal taxpayer payroll.
Normally the $3.3 million total would be much higher. There was very little travel because of pandemic restrictions – the most recent figures available – so it’s unusual that expenses made up only about $55,000 of that amount.
Consider it’s proposed the mayor of Sooke gets a 50 per cent pay increase to $47,432 in 2023. The mayor is also paid for sitting as a director on the CRD – current remuneration is $14,051 and another $7,025 in allowable expenses.
Consider that Sooke council has already approved a 2022 budget with an increase of 6.09 per cent. That’s high considering it was set prior to major spikes in inflation during the past few months.
And finally, while councillors want a 27 per cent raise to $20,062 starting in 2023, some have been chronically absent during this past term. Instead, councillors who are absent should be docked pay if they can’t be bothered to show up to do the job.
Residents deserve better value for their tax dollar.
Stan Bartlett, vice-chair
Grumpy Taxpayer$ of Greater Victoria