Municipal spending a top concern this election

Mission residents need answers that provide tax relief, not increases

Editor, The Record:

Open letter to Mission mayoralty candidates:

The state of the global economy is a warning sign of one issue that needs to be front and centre this election: spending.

Spending by municipal politicians is starting to rival healthcare in its ability to increase every year. In fact, in B.C., municipal spending is going up at twice the rate of inflation and population growth combined.

One of the biggest drivers for increases in our district’s spending is wages and benefits. On average a municipal worker gets 10 per cent more than their private sector counterpart doing the same job; with benefits that increases to 35 per cent more, plus they have iron-clad job security.

Out-of-control municipal spending means more than rising property taxes. A ton of municipal fees and charges are layered onto the cost of new homes. Added to permitting and licensing delays, these costs mean that new families can no longer afford to buy homes and live in the neighbourhoods in which they grew up.

1. How will you curtail spending increases and restore balance between the pay for municipal workers and workers in the private sector?

2. Can partnerships with private contractors or neighbouring communities and municipalities or alternate service delivery methods reduce costs?

3. Can taxpayers afford to continue to pay for non-essential services with their tax dollars? What are the essential services the district needs to provide?

4. Why aren’t new businesses and commercial enterprises moving to Mission and creating new jobs for our children?

The citizens of Mission deserve answers that offer tax relief, not tax increases. We need to do everything possible to avert a spending-driven disaster as seen in Greece and other European countries.

Jack Davidson

Mission