Council pay

With due respect to the four members of this committee, this supposition is dead wrong.

In The Morning Star, the council-appointed citizens’ committee for remuneration is quoted as saying that they, “view the mayor and council as the equivalent to the board of directors of a private sector corporation with an annual budget of $60 million.”

With due respect to the four members of this committee, this supposition is dead wrong.

A private sector corporation exists to earn money for its owners through the operation of some sort of commercial enterprise. An incorporated government body (a municipality, crown corporation, etc.) exists to provide services to the public that are not or cannot be provided by the private sector, at the lowest possible cost. Examples of these services are the construction  and maintenance of public roads, statutory policing, jurisdiction-wide firefighting, etc. The civic government, corporation though it may be, is not there to turn a profit.

Ideally, it should break even. A surplus usually indicates over-taxation. There is another important difference between the private and public sectors, one that completely justifies (what should be) the large salary difference between the two. A private corporation must persuade you to buy its product.

No matter how large his company may be, no matter how much his salary and bonus may be, the CEO of Coca-Cola Inc. cannot force you to buy a can of his product. But try telling the City of Vernon that you don’t feel like paying your property tax this year, or your parking tickets, and see what happens.

Refuse to buy a business license, and see how quickly they shut you down. The point is this: while the private corporation can sell it’s products or services only to the willing, governments extract most of their revenues on demand, through various forms of taxation, which those living in its jurisdiction are compelled to pay. As you can see, there is precious little equivalence here, and no reason whatsoever for any public sector employee, elected or otherwise, to receive anything close to the income of the board of directors of a private corporation.

And if it is true that the “complexity and the commitment of the mayor and councillor has increased substantially over the last two decades”, that is a sure sign that the city is trying to do far too much, especially when you consider that Vernon’s population hasn’t really increased that much during that time frame.

Get back to basics — to what the Constitution outlines as municipal responsibilities — and council members might not find the job so absorbing. Learn to say no to self-interested pressure groups and lobbyists, and it might really simplify things.

Ian Tribes



Just Posted

Warmer fall weather could extend wildfire season: AccuWeather

Above seasonal temperatures are expected throughout September, October and November

The Harley Guy comedian rides into Vernon

Herb Dixon will be performing at The Green Pub in Vernon this Sept.

Vernon Mission hosts International Overdose Awareness Day event

Along with Interior Health, the event will run Wednesday, Aug. 28, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Vernon ADHD workshop shows youths’ experience through art

Vernon ADHD Task Force is holding a final workshop Thursday, Aug. 22 at the Vernon Art Gallery

Cyclists don’t belong on sidewalks

LETTER: New Kal Road bike path not fit for avid riders or roadies

Paws! Join the cause and raise money for the BC SPCA

Sign up to walk in the annual BC SPCA Paws for a Cause walk

Suspect drops white powder running from police near Kelowna playground

Kelowna RCMP responded to reports of two individuals swinging a chain in a park

Rosemount cooked diced chicken linked to listeria case in B.C.

The symptoms of listeria include vomiting, nausea, fever, muscle aches

B.C. seniors allowed more choice to stay in assisted living

Province doesn’t need to wait for a complaint to investigate care, Adrian Dix says

Power up: UBC Okanagan researchers designing battery that packs more punch

It’s a collaboration between the university and B.C.-based tech companies

Liberals block hearings into scathing ethics report on SNC-Lavalin affair

Dion concluded in his report last week that Trudeau broke the Conflict of Interest Act

Infamous Okanagan motel to appeal being boarded up

‘The people that are living there today are compromised by the fact that they have to live there’

Retired Richmond fisherman wins record-breaking $60M Lotto Max jackpot

Joseph Katalinic won the biggest Lotto Max prize ever awarded

Most Read