By AmbrÖse Bierce. This week Councillor Dave Loewen sent a message via Facebook that he is heading for Botswana until September. He also confirmed it in a tweet, but not the length of his trip. I really don’t begrudge Dave that he wants to help those in Africa and it is close to his heart. However, as a taxpayer who “hired” Councillor Loewen, as well as eight others, through a democratic process I expect them work for the salary they make. Fluttering off to Africa for a minimum of seven weeks galls me.
Photo from Facebook
And I am even the first person to say that the $37,200 for councilors is too low. If we look at the typical 40 hours work week over 48 weeks (I’m taking out three weeks for vacation and one for Christmas) it works out to $19.375 per hour. Given that they are looking after an annual budget of about $250,000,000 we need to “hire” people who are willing to do the hard work. Giving up a high salary job for $37,200 per year we aren’t going to get many qualified people unless they are in conflict of interest. But I digress. Plus.
I am an Average Joe and if I went to my employer and said I will be gone for 7 or 8 weeks vacation there is a very good chance I won’t be coming back to a job.
Being a city councilor is a job. One where you are accountable to about 140,000 people who “hire” you.
Can we please have councilors elected who are willing to work for the people of Abbotsford and put them first in their “employment”?
Perhaps we should have a bylaw proposed that if a City Council member is absent from work more than four weeks a year his salary is prorated down to reflect the time he/she worked for the people of Abbotsford.
Well at least we’ll find out the City can do without Dave. Wanna bet what the answer is …
AmbrÖse Bierce is Today’s writer in residence who occasionally gives voice to the concerns of individual citizens and taxpayers who, for a variety of reasons, are unable or unwilling to take a public stand on issues of relevance to the rest of the community. Reasons may include possible loss of job, injury to their business, or any number of quite legitimate reasons to keep their mouths shut.
While all columns and letters on Today are signed by their authors, we have decided to provide this venue for those with legitimate opinions, based on fact, with something to contribute to the public debate in the city. This is not a place for wild venting or personal attacks. AmbrÖse requires you identify yourself to him and explain why you need to keep your identity secure.
To Write AmbrÖse Simply Email Him At: AmbrÖse@Today.ca