Most displeased with council’s performance

Filed for publication with the Mirror:

Hello Mayor and Council,

I begin this unfortunate rant with a question:  to each of you I request that you publish in either of the local papers a short commentary describing to the population that elected you what you believe are your responsibilities as a city councillor in the City of Campbell River.

I am most displeased with the performance of city council. I have watched with utter dismay and contempt as you pass over any opportunity to constrain the relentless waste of tax dollars at City Hall. Please explain how you can absolve yourselves of the responsibility to review City Hall hiring decisions.

City Hall is out of control. At last count we have 34 managers – – do each of you know what all of these managers do? Have you ever stopped to wonder why there are so many managers in city hall? What do they do? How many staff do they have?

What discretion over city resources do they have? Can any of them work the lights on Dogwood?

To put things in perspective, we have 24 police constables, including supervisors, – to provide a 24 hour a day, seven days a week service, unlike City Hall which is arguably a seven-hours-a-day, five-days-a-week organization.

City Hall has clearly demonstrated that it is not capable of practicing restraint and exercising fiscal prudence in difficult economic times.  A city is a business and should be run as such.  Our city is run more like a garage sale.  In the face of massive shortfalls in revenue, why has there been no rationalization and downsizing at City Hall?

It would seem to be quite reasonable to rationalize the organization at City Hall in these difficult times.

Being that most (all?) decisions are made by a consultant, I would expect that many of these positions could be eliminated.

To make a point here I remind you that it seems that in spite of having a city council of seven and a city management staff of 34 we still need to hire a consultant to “evaluate” the Catalyst waterfront for a potential garbage dump site.

With an increasing residential tax base (how many houses per year?), it is not unreasonable to expect that taxes should go down, yet somehow in this fine city we find ourselves, after a decade of residential and retail expansion, with a tax shortfall and a dilapidated infrastructure.

It is not fiscally prudent to spend millions of dollars on less than two kilometres of highway (turning it into a boardwalk with no parking and no room for emergency vehicles) and ignore the rest of the city.

There is likely an equal number of young families with limited income and seniors on a fixed income that should not be taxed out of their homes to fund an irresponsible city.

Please do your part or excuse yourself from your station such that someone with the necessary qualifications can fulfil the role of city councillor – $77,000 for an additional janitor at the sportsplex should be the tip of the iceberg.

Mike Landers

Campbell River

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