(Pixabay photo)

LETTER: ‘Golden handshake’ not right for Delta council

“To complain, once elected, that the compensation … is inadequate is at least a little bit disingenuous”

(Re: “Delta council members to receive ‘service benefit’ for first time,” NDR Vol. 3 No. 23, June 7, 2018)

I disagree with what is the currently reported “golden handshake” for council members. I also disagree with any notion of elected officials ever approving salary or indemnity increases for themselves.

Being elected to council used to be an event affording you an enhanced opportunity to “volunteer” your services to assist your community. In the instance of being elected a municipal councilor the demands of that kind of volunteer service were recognised by you being awarded an “indemnity” to compensate you for some of the costs of that significant municipal service — differently than is the instance for people volunteering in other capacities in the community, including by sitting on various municipal committees. Somehow, however, being elected a municipal councillor has morphed into a full time, “professional” occupation — making it a “volunteer” activity no longer available to the majority of people living in the community — many of whom could contribute significantly through council activities, but who cannot devote what has become the full-time commitment required to sit in a Council chair.

That aside, when people campaign and become elected to positions on council, they should know what the circumstances they are facing will be. At a minimum they should know how they will be compensated. To complain, once elected, that the compensation — whether ongoing or in the form of a “handshake”— is inadequate is at least a little bit disingenuous.

Councillors need to accept the various features of the position they ask the municipal public to elect them to. If the compensation characteristics of that position are considered inadequate, then councillors (and mayors) should quite legitimately revise those characteristics for councils that will be elected following their current tenures.

Councillors should never consider enhancing the fiscal packages that accompany their current terms in office. Are, for instance, paramedical personnel or any other public employees allowed to render decisions that establish their own compensation packages?

The suggestion that seven other municipalities provide some sort of benefit to council members upon their departure is irrelevant. That may be a consideration if council were considering an initiative like this in the instance of future councils. The current council, however, campaigned to be elected, recognising the circumstances in place at their election. Those circumstances should prevail throughout their tenures.

-Firth Bateman, via email


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

9-year-old girl recovering after dog attack in North Delta

The dog has now been seized by Delta bylaw officers

ELECTION QUESTIONS: Does Surrey need its own police force

Who’s on the right side of Surrey RCMP’s contract issue debate? That’s for voters to decide on Oct. 20

Surrey ‘aggressively tackling’ recycling contamination to avoid hefty fines

City council approves contract with Recycle BC that means additional savings from previous deal — if contamination can be reduced

New playground open at North Delta’s Sunshine Hills Elementary

Parents at the school raised over $65,000 for the project, with the city contributing $30,000

Surrey breast-cancer survivor says charity run has ‘kept me alive’ for a decade

Sally Haysom is volunteer director of CIBC Run for the Cure, set for Sept. 30 at Bear Creek Park

VIDEO: B.C. deer struggles with life-preserver caught in antlers

Campbell River resident captures entangled deer on camera

Around the BCHL – Trail Smoke Eater grad to captain NCAA Michigan Tech Huskies

Around the BCHL is a regular look at the BCHL and goings-on throughout the junior A world.

North Delta happenings: week of Sept. 20

Events, courses and clubs listing for North Delta

Final Cloverdale Market Day of the season this Saturday

Vendors, food trucks and more on Saturday, Sept. 22, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Thieves escape after man claims his wife is giving birth

RCMP searching for suspects in brazen daytime break in

Rural Canada Post carriers could see 25-per-cent pay hike: spokesman

An arbitrator has released a ruling in a long-standing pay equity dispute at Canada Post

Seventh day of searching for missing plane between Edmonton and Chilliwack

Search efforts are concentrated along the Highway 5 corridor between Valemount and Kamloops

Freeland brings optimism back to NAFTA talks

NAFTA talks resume in Washington

BC Children’s Hospital warns of possible PayPal fraud

Recipients are asked to forward the emails to PayPal

Most Read