Powell River mayor and council are considering tax hikes between three and seven percent; service cuts are also under consideration [City of Powell River CFO introduces preliminary financial plan, seeks guidance from finance committee regarding tax increases,” November 26].
As a former political adviser, I can tell you that one thing advisers never advise is to cut the salaries of highly paid officials rather than cutting the services that citizens depend on, especially those who struggle to survive.
Over the life of our current council, house prices have doubled, rental housing is essentially impossible to find, child poverty rates have risen to some of the highest in the country and 70 per cent-plus of people buying homes here are from somewhere else. How many homes are being bought as investments, driving housing costs ever higher in a town with very few well-paying jobs?
Earlier this week, First Call released its annual report on child poverty; 25 per cent of the children in Powell River live in poverty, a significant increase in the last few years. For children in single-parent families, especially those headed by women, child poverty rates are 49 per cent. This is an appalling national/provincial/local shame.
The city had 32 employees who made more than $100,000 in the 2020 financial year. A 10 per cent reduction in wages for those in the $100,000-plus club would go a long way to ensuring services are maintained for those who need them and that taxes are not raised unsustainably.
We’re now in yet another election year, with a municipal election coming next October. Those who vote in local elections here in the qathet region, typically fewer than 45 per cent of eligible voters, have much to think about and to demand from those who seek to lead us at every level.