To the editor,
I read with some consternation the article in The Terrace Standard of Dec. 29 that taxes are increasing in Terrace once again. I’m not surprised, as taxes tend to increase and I have yet to see them decrease.
But not only that, this is the highest increase ever. I wish to preface this commentary with the acknowledgement I know nothing of the work involved in city management, and suspect many other community-members have little idea either. In the interests of transparency of municipal affairs, some information about city managers and their role would be welcomed. After all, they are asking for a raise this year. And this money, of course comes from the taxpayers.
According to a memo to city council outlining the findings of a survey commissioned by city council and his recommendations, manager Mr. Boland indicates the city is in imminent danger of an exodus of management, and of city workers to some extent, to richer municipal climes if salaries, benefits etc. are not increased.
This despite the findings also indicating two positions in Terrace are in fact paid higher than similar positions, and the other 17 enjoy at least 82 to 99 per cent. Maybe that extra 3 per cent in taxes will make a difference after all. Or maybe those over-paid could contribute a little to those more financially disadvantaged. Just a thought.
If bonuses are being considered, in the interests of transparency, shouldn’t the citizenry have some idea why bonuses are being requested, and how they are awarded. For example, are they for exemplary performance, length of service or complexity of the job? Considering the citizenry seem to have no input in these proposed bonuses, it would at least be nice to know, as once again; the citizenry are footing the bill.
My last point is about the poor timing of this article. There is nothing particularly wrong with asking for a raise, nor with a desire to further pad one’s pockets-those of us who work all do both. But in case its escaped the venerable Mr. Boland’s notice, times are particularly tough in Terrace right now.
There are people with no place to live except in shelters, tents and in doorways. The cost of food keeps going upwards as does housing, assuming one can find something to rent. There are also many people struggling to make ends meet generally, let alone pay their taxes.
And now taxes are going up, the highest ever for Terrace. And to fund the salaries of specific individuals.
Have a little class folks. Have a bit of empathy. And perhaps remember that when potential newcomers consider where they’ll live, one of the aspects to be considered are costs of living and municipal taxes.
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