City council pay raises are a slap in the face to taxpayers

Given our struggling economy, plummeting oil and gas sector and increased number of families struggling with poverty, I am absolutely disgusted with the proposed increase in our mayor’s salary from $112,198.94 to $131,940.43 and city councillor salaries from $60,466.44 to $68,618.16.

These increases are a slap in the face to hard working men and women who, due to the struggling economy, have either had to take a cut in salary or lost their jobs entirely. A raise of this magnitude is unjustified.

As of Jan. 1, 2019, salaries and allowances for elected officials in Canada will no longer be one-third tax free. And they never should’ve been in the first place. The working public certainly doesn’t get this tax break.

Raising salaries to offset taxes is shameful. Every working Canadian pays taxes on every dollar they are making, no matter the amount of hours. This should be no different for our elected officials (who I won’t be voting for in the future).

It is an abomination to the citizens of Red Deer that council needs to spend so much time to come up with the right terminology to convince us that they deserve a raise. These are elected officials committed to serving the public.

Like every other job, if you don’t think the remuneration is reasonable for the work involved, don’t run for office.

What we desperately need is leaders who walk alongside us when times get tough.

Dr. Hank Meyer, Red Deer

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