Paying for council

We hope the release of remuneration figures for council members will encourage citizens to consider the broader issues that loom behind the numbers.

We hope the release of remuneration figures for council members will encourage citizens to consider the broader issues that loom behind the numbers.

Without commenting on any individuals per se, they reveal for one an immense discrepancy between the pay for the office of mayor and the office of councillor.

While one could justify this difference on the respective importance of each office, we would like to note each position carries exactly the same weight when the time to vote arrives. Councillors also invest a comparable amount of time in preparing for meetings and other obligations.

Granted, it might not be popular to demand higher wages for politicians, who often labour — unfairly we might add — under the suspicion of being less than honest characters.

But such a critical response rests on an unsound premise. Contrary to conventional wisdom, politicians, especially on the municipal level, are not in it for the money. True, countless politicians have used their political career as calling cards for the corporate sector, where salaries are significantly higher than in the public sector. But this space can think of countless, far less cumbersome ways to fulfill ambitions of fame and fortune than embark on a political career.

Can municipalities be more frugal? Perhaps. Tracking municipal spending, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business has over the years made suggestions to curb what political scientists call rent-seeking, self-serving behaviour.

But rent-seeking happens in all sectors, including the corporate world. We certainly hope that critics of the public sector — whose public presence has actually retreated in recent years — will look at the newly released figures with some perspective. Tough financial times demand sacrifices from all. But this can only happen if all receive the same degree of scrutiny.

 

Just Posted

RDOS cannabis production bylaw goes to public hearing

Hearing on micro cannabis production facilities will be held Nov. 21

Growing cherries, apples, pears — and big pumpkins

Boerboom worked to produce a massive melon from his Summerland farm

Drivers warn of slippery conditions on the Coquihalla

Snow is falling at the Summit of the Coquihalla

RDOS issues 405 building permits in first nine months of 2019

Construction activity higher this year than during same period last year

Summerland Steam face North Okanagan Knights in two games

Junior B hockey teams compete in regular season action

Election 2019: Robert Mellalieu — Green Party candidate for Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola

Robert Mellalieu is running for the Green Party in Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

Natalie MacMaster makes Okanagan one of two B.C. stops

Queen of the Fiddle in town Oct. 24

Shooters compete in Summerland

Seven youth participants take aim

B.C. public safety minister says cannabis edibles not in stores til January

Mike Farnworth says he wants regional issues considered when it comes to licensing

Greta Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta, but doesn’t talk oilsands

Swedish teen was met with some oil and gas industry supporters who came in a truck convoy

Scheer denies spreading ‘misinformation’ in predicting unannounced Liberal taxes

Conservative leader had claimed that a potential NDP-Liberal coalition could lead to a hike in GST

Council asks to limit cruise ship visits to Victoria harbour

Mayor says motion is not meant to curtail current visits or limit local cruise industry expansion

Grab your Lederhosen, Penticton Oktoberfest is tomorrow!

The 10th annual event is hosted at the Penticton Lakeside Resort and kicks off Penticton Beer Week

Most Read