In this life there are very, and I mean very, few things we all can agree on. For Example: Earth is round, fire is hot. And the one everyone, no matter their color, financial status, religion or sexual preference knows: 'you get what you pay for’.
Nowhere this is more prevalent then when shopping for tools. Aghast at the price difference, one might wonder why anyone would spend hundreds of dollars on tools, when you can buy everything in a bin for a fifty. Five minutes, and a dozen broken tools later, this ultimate truth is learned.
Hence it was with abject horror and embarrassment I read just how much the town of Squamish pays their elected officials. Don’t get me wrong, over the years some of the decisions that have been made were so appalling you’d think we’d be better off getting a fry cook to do the job. But they probably wouldn’t even take the job since they’d have to take a pay cut. Oh how I wish that was funny. In fact, a councilor (you know, the people making the most important decisions in our community) receives less than someone on unemployment!
I know how touchy politician pay raises are, and I’m the first to scream when fat cat officials talk of having to make sacrifices while lining their pockets with a few thousand. But we’re not talking big bucks, or even medium bucks; we’re talking just over $16,000 a year. Oh, but they make up for it in power and influence (pause to wipe tears of laughter).
I whole heartedly appreciate the volunteer aspect and that they don’t do it for the money. I’m thankful we have so many great people willing to volunteer for this position. But are we as a community happy with volunteers running the show? If there is anyone qualified enough for the position and they have another job, it will actually cost them money to be a councilor. Passion and dedication can only carry you so far before you have to eat.
Frankly I care about this community and believe our top decision makers should earn more than the person who just asked me if I wanted cream in my ‘black’ coffee.
Yet still you hear the ‘it’s barely a part-time job’ defense. Well, I suppose that’s true if you don’t expect them to do the required reading, research, committee meetings, or fact finding necessary to make informed decisions. Not to mention speaking to the public which, as a vocal member, I know just how long we can go on and on for. It’s no wonder some councilors do way more work than others and sometimes I’m surprised any show up at all.
Basically, if you buy a Pinto, you can’t expect Maserati results.
Council needs to delicately address this by having an independent review
done before the next election. It’s either that or we continue to
get by with cheap tools we have to replace every three years.