It’s all about the money

The Compass - - OPINION -

I was sur­prised to see the story on re­mu­ner­a­tion ex­am­i­na­tion in your July 24 is­sue done so com­plete.

There’s some­thing in the word re­mu­ner­a­tion that strikes me rather funny. It al­most makes one think peo­ple are be­ing re­im­bursed for some­thing they have done that cost them fini­cally.

Maybe it’s time to call it what it re­ally is, pay­ment, salary, earn­ings.

There was a time when peo­ple gave of them­selves to sit on coun­cils with­out any com­pen­sa­tion, nei­ther wanted nor expected.

There was a stigma as­so­ci­ated with sit­ting on coun­cil, when a coun­cil­lor would never at­tend a coun­cil meet­ing un­less he or she was dressed in a man­ner de­serv­ing re­spect for some­one rep­re­sent­ing his/her town and its peo­ple.

Some 30 years ago when I first sat as a coun­cil­lor for my town, it was un­heard of for some­one to show up for a meet­ing wear­ing a tee shirt or jog­gers etc. Any one knowl­edge- able with coun­cils back then will know what I write about.

To­day there’s some­thing miss­ing. Now it’s all about the money. Gone is the time when it was a priv­i­lege to rep­re­sent your town and its peo­ple.

Cit­i­zens elect peo­ple to run the town they live in for the good of all of us, and for the most part they do just that. Gone are the days when coun­cil­lors got a room and a few meals paid for when they at­tended a con­ven­tion, and re­ceipts had to be sub­mit­ted in or­der to get paid for those ex­penses. There are still peo­ple sit­ting on coun­cil who take great pride in their town coun­cil cham­bers, do­ing what peo­ple elected them to do. Then there are oth­ers who have been there for years for noth­ing else but a place to go and bring home a few ex­tra bucks ev­ery cou­ple of months. They stay on coun­cil by not get­ting in­volved in any­thing too con­tro­ver­sial; serve on com­mit­tees that have lit­tle contact with the pub­lic. So they are not in­volved with any real de­ci­sions that could mat­ter when it comes to elec­tion time. They keep a low pro­file and col­lect a few dol­lars.

I have no qualms when it comes to coun­cil­lors get­ting paid to run the town when they de­serve it, but it must be done ac­cord­ing to the Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties Act. A town must be man­aged ac­cord­ing to the act. When a coun­cil­lor gets paid to sit on coun­cil, ac­cord­ing to the act, he/she must be a res­i­dent of that town. Those who sit on coun­cil have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to us as tax­pay­ers to carry out the laws in the act.

When elec­tion time comes around again next year, give some thought as to whom you want to give your tax dol­lars to. Who will be set­ting your prop­erty tax rates? What have they in com­mon with the rest of the towns­peo­ple? Or are they just af­ter a few ex­tra dol­lars. Coun­cil­lors should re­mem­ber that they are an­swer­able to the peo­ple who pay them. Frank Evely Sr. Clarke’s Beach

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