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LETTER: Saanich should keep its budget within rate of inflation


Here is a novel idea for property taxes that councils might consider. Perhaps like individual homeowners, if they don’t have the money, they shouldn’t undertake capital improvements and continually increase operating costs in multiple areas.

The staff wage component excuse is always used as it softens the impact, as those costs are presented as somehow inevitable. They are not, lay staff off! Maybe a two-year, stay-within-the-CPI-inflation-rate budget, is what they need to get their heads wrapped around on how to spend money effectively.

When one looks on the district’s web page at the number of managers, almost every department has managers for managers for managers. Perhaps these managers should be mandated to index their budgets to inflation rates. The Bank of Canada says we are in a war on inflation. If that’s the case then the District of Saanich is the enemy for delivering unnecessary inflation.

We need coucillors and particularly a mayor who know how to manage their budgets. We don’t need representatives who think the municipal money trough is infinitely deep. Ironically, landlords are held to inflation increases or even below, but the largest landlord, your municipality, seems to feel that they can pass along whatever expenses they want to taxpayers.

Perhaps we should start looking at these pet projects through referendums, rather than with the wave of the magic wand by the mayor’s office.

Here’s an even more novel thought, why don’t we get rid of some of these redundant staff and hire what used to be known as cost accounts? This endangered species used to spend their days looking at the books and trying to find ways to cut back on waste and operating costs. Instead, we have inexperienced councillors who spend their days trying to figure out how to spend money to further their own personal agendas.

If the CPI rate is good for landlords and the majority of individual workers’ wage increases, that should be good enough for the municipality. Real leaders lead by example, I see no leadership in the proposed Saanich budget.

Doug Coulson