Letter: ‘Mayor has contempt for voting public’

Questions about council pay raises raised previously, but not yet been answered.

Editor, The News:

Re: Pitt council criticized over pay increase (The News, March 7).

Pitt Meadows Mayor Deb Walters’ comment that council can choose not to answer questions asked by the residents shows once again the contempt in which she holds us.

The question about the unrealistic pay raises the council accepted again this year may have been raised previously, but it has not yet been answered.  She may not want to hear this again, but those who are seeing their taxes rise year after year in order to provide these benefits want them ended.

Elected officials are answerable to those who elect them, or certainly should be. The mayor has no right whatsoever to even think that she and councillors do not need to respond to legitimate questioning from those they are intended to represent. And blaming her ever-increasing wage hikes on a bylaw passed in 2008 only demonstrates her lack of responsible leadership. Council enact bylaws, and can revoke bylaws.

But that is something that Mayor Walters, along with Couns. Gwen O’Connell and Tracy Miyashita have no desire to do. Their annual automatic and completely unjustified pay raises would then be reduced, if not eliminated.

How the mayor chooses to spend her wage increase, be it charitable or not, is irrelevant. The concern of the taxpayers is that these blatantly-excessive and unwarranted annual increases compound year by year, and Mayor Walters and her supporters clearly have no intention of changing things. These perks must be the ‘essential services’ she claims would be lost if property taxes did not rise year after year. Their priorities are not those shared by the rest of us, and these three have obviously lost sight of their duty as councillors.

Byron Hosking

Pitt Meadows