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LETTER: Maple Ridge senior lambasts city council over tax hike

Council and staff need to factor in residents’ financial struggles, writer says
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[Re: 6.5% tax hike in the cards, The News, Feb. 16]

So, here we go again with the oppressive tax hikes for seniors in Maple Ridge. Judy Dueck seems to think we should be thankful? Well, for her information, I’m not!

The proposed hiring of three planning positions at city hall, and a development application project manager are things that need to be questioned. For one thing, it would seem that developments, at present, are rubber stamped and they go ahead without scrutiny or consideration of infrastructure needed to accommodate such developments.

Would the new development application project manager simply continue in the same pattern, going by past practices, and okaying all or most of the development apps?

And what would be his or her salary for this job? How much are the taxpayers going to be on the hook for, for these new positions our “brightest and best” have decided to arbitrarily put into place? Why do we need three planning positions? It seems we’re in enough trouble with present “housing acceleration” practices without hiring more suits to screw things up even more than they already are!

The proposed budget amounts for fire services – 2.74 million = $171,250 per man, and $1.85 million for 12 police = $154,666 per man? Do these people really make that kind of money?

If so, I guess they can easily afford the 6.5 per cent tax increase. And I wouldn’t want to see city council voting themselves any salary increases in the next year so as to “offset” the tax increases on poor city councillors! It is past time city council realized perpetual tax increases on property are unsustainable, particularly for seniors on fixed incomes, like myself! The city must come to the realization that they, like the rest of us, need to manage on what they have, and stop robbing the pockets of the “average joe” in order to achieve their agendas! When I want a new car, I can’t just go to someone and take money from them so as to afford it! This seems to be the mentality of our councillors.

Mayor Ruimy thought he could pass off an 8.2 per cent increase earlier in the year. Thank goodness clearer heads prevailed, and that increase was scrapped. Last but by no means least sure, fire and perhaps, police are needed, but due to the fact that we are the only part of the greater Vancouver area that still doesn’t even have garbage pickup, thanks to you guessed it – city council who continually side steps the entire issue, or just ignores it all together, stating that they would have to increase again , you guessed it, our taxes, which is totally, (not to play on words) a load of garbage!

How about making that one of your priorities?

Me thinks it might be time to plan a move, before I’m priced out of existence.

John Turner, Maple Ridge


• READ MORE: Maple Ridge asking for public input on proposed tax hike