EDITORIAL: Director’s comments are off base

It’s a natural reaction to want someone else to take over when they are criticizing or questioning the job you are doing.

It’s a natural reaction to want someone else to take over when they are criticizing or questioning the job you are doing. We’ve all done it.

So it’s not a surprise that Regional District of North Okanagan director Mike Macnabb would take a similar approach when asked about the possible public reaction to his $25,081 in wages and $4,462 in expenses in  2011.

“I will sign their nomination papers if they think it’s such a sweet deal,” he said of potential critics running for office themselves.

Macnabb has a point and it’s certainly easy to complain from the cheap seats. Most people have no clue as to how much work goes into local government. There are hours upon hours at meetings — for some directors there are at least 20 sessions a month — while considerable time is also devoted to reading mounds of documents or speaking to constituents on issues of concern.

Representing the public takes a toll on personal lives and on careers for those directors still working. Obviously, financial compensation has to recognize all of those factors.

But Macnabb’s call for anyone who questions his remuneration to run for office is trite and condescending.

Macnabb needs to remember that he has a responsibility to his constituents and it is taxpayers, who work just as hard as politicians, who are paying the tab.

In our democratic system, it is incumbent on all citizens to scrutinize the actions of our elected officials and particularly how they spend the money we provide to them.

Macnabb has offered constituents his job, but they already have one.

—The Morning Star