Pay hikes raise voters’ ire

Two Aldergrove Star readers respond to news of Township council's pay raises

Editor:

Re: “Massive pay hike for council”.

There will be many responses to this news item, I am sure. I will make it brief and for once disclose this “secret.”

I am an 81-year-old pensioner, receiving $1,195.41 OAP a month, (that includes GIS in my case, which is reduced, if I earn more than I “deserve” with my job today. Hey I had a $9.06 “hike” since October – I just noticed!

I am trying to figure out how I feel, reading the news about the “Massive pay hike for council.” Am I surprised? No. Am I disgusted? Somewhat. Am I saddened? Yes.

I am very sad for all those pensioners, who are not able to work for additional income, or do not have family support to add to this insulting pay-out for the years of productive living.

That news report reminded me again how fortunate I am, that I am in good health, have an ability to earn, and am able to work and supplement my lousy pension income.

Much like many women of my generation, I was a stay-at-home mother, raising and supervising my three children, while assisting my husband in his work.

There is no recompense for this today for a single, self-supporting senior female.

My $1,195.41 times 12 months equals $14,344.92 annually, if my ancient multiplication skills are still valid. It takes talent, and then some to manage on that, eh?

NAME WITHHELD, Langley

Editor:

I’m having a difficult time rationalizing these increases of 12.9% for the mayor and 19% for council members, plus expenses and 1/3 of their salary is tax free. I wonder how many of us taxpayers would like to have a job like that, plus have a full time job and/or government pension to live on.

In this economic time, I find it offensive that this council is still accepting these salary increases, while there are so many taxpayers trying to survive on $9.50 an hour and 40 hours a week (or approximately $20,000 a year). A .8% increase over eight years, while council salaries increased by 50% and Mayor salaries by 70% over the same period of time. I am not an ‘occupier’, but I find it sad to see another example of the 1% vs 99% actually happening here in Langley Township.

The recently printed articles regarding this ‘massive pay hike’ (or Christmas comes early) were based on studies that were done making comparisons to six other municipalities. I’m thinking that if our council wants the salaries that are paid in those six other municipalities, perhaps they should think of running for mayor/council in one of them and take the taxpayers money from those municipalities.

The problem is that these people/councils (as do all governments) vote for and approve their own increases. We the taxpayer (who pay their salaries) have no input. Where is the money coming from to pay these salaries? Another tax increase?

Again, in this economy, when people are struggling to make ends meet, I think it would be the ultimate act of solidarity for the mayor and council to refuse these increases and ‘make do’ like the 99%.

D. Atkinson, Langley