Car­bon­ear’s spend­ing prac­tices, salaries crit­i­cized

The Compass - - OPINION -

Please al­low me some space in your news­pa­per to make the tax­pay­ers of the Town of Car­bon­ear aware of the man­age­ment of our funds by the “Mag­nif­i­cent Seven,” a.k.a. the mem­bers of the coun­cil in our town.

This group has no re­gard to spend­ing our tax dol­lars wisely as is ev­i­dent by their spend­ing prac­tices in the past year. In­for­ma­tion ob­tained from town records show that staff at the town hall are be­ing paid hand­somely for the work they per­form and they do not have a prob­lem re­ceiv­ing an an­nual in­crease in wages while we, as tax­pay­ers, are faced with a tax in­crease.

The in­for­ma­tion shows that the town ad­min­is­tra­tor re­ceives $80,300 per year, while the town clerk re­ceives an an­nual salary of $59,800. These are high salaries com­pared to or­di­nary work­ers. The di­rec­tor of op­er­a­tions and pub­lic works re­ceives $72,300 an­nu­ally. Our mayor re­ceives $13,000, and the deputy mayor re­ceives $11,000, while each coun­cil­lor re­ceives $10,000 for their in­put.

This past year shows that this “Group of Seven” spent $50,000 on a new logo for the town and in cor­re­spon­dence from the cham­bers they ex­pect this logo to at­tract new busi­nesses to come and open their doors.

In one year I chal­lenge coun­cil to in­form the tax­pay­ers of the num­ber of busi­nesses that moved to Car­bon­ear to open a busi­ness be­cause of our in­fa­mous logo. Coun­cil used our tax dol­lars to pay for this logo, as well as the hoopla that fol­lowed the un­veil­ing of the logo and plac­ing this logo on all coun­cil ve­hi­cles. What a joke and what a waste of tax­pay­ers dol­lars.

This coun­cil used our tax dol­lars to pur­chase a new ve­hi­cle in ex­cess of $50,000 for our di­rec­tor of op­er­a­tions and pub­lic works, so that he can drive around Car­bon­ear. For the dis­tance that this in­di­vid­ual drives around Car­bon­ear they could have pur­chased a moped and saved the tax­pay­ers $50,000.

Coun­cil records show that there is ap­prox­i­mately $700,000 over­due in un­paid taxes. What are they do­ing to re­cover these monies. If they are cut- ting off town ser­vices then there must be a lot of peo­ple in Car­bon­ear with­out wa­ter and sewer ser­vices. Yet, in March of each year they are threat­en­ing to cut ser­vices when the taxes for the cur­rent year are not paid. See­ing that you have five staff em­ployed down at the town of­fice then why don’t you uti­lize their ser­vices bet­ter in hav­ing these staff col­lect the over­due taxes?

Last year I saw my taxes in­crease and I have ques­tioned why they went up and I was ad­vised it was due to in­crease in real es­tate in this area. I know for cer­tain that there are two in­di­vid­u­als em­ployed by coun­cil whose prop­er­ties are far be­low their ac­tual value.

In case coun­cil is not aware the real es­tate mar­ket has de­creased in the past year, so I hope I will see my taxes de­crease ac­cord­ingly next year.

In my opin­ion, be­sides wa­ter and sewer, the only other ser­vice that I am re­ceiv­ing from this town is a glo­ri­fied garbage col­lec­tion. Dur­ing this past win­ter their snow­plow op­er­a­tors de­lib­er­ately tore up the sods again on my prop­erty and I have had all coun­cil mem­bers up to my res­i­dence and each one agreed that in their opin­ion that this dam­age was done de­lib­er­ately.

They stated that they would speak to the per­son in ques­tion but the op­er­a­tor con­tin­ued tear­ing up my prop­erty. Maybe they should spend some of our tax dol­lars to en­roll their op­er­a­tors in a snow­clear­ing 101 course so they can prop­erly plow the town streets.

No time for Targa

This past week I was sub­ject to the worst ac­count of spend­ing that I have wit­nessed since com­ing to Car­bon­ear, namely the Targa event.

Now I am aware that I may re­ceive some flak be­cause ev­ery­body is prob­a­bly aware that Targa is as­so­ci­ated with autism. My opin­ion is that Targa con­trib­utes noth­ing to the Town of Car­bon­ear.

The coun­cil saw fit to close down some of our streets in or­der for this event to take place. Other com­mu­ni­ties in the prov­ince have not per­mit­ted this event be­cause of the dan­ger it presents.

I ex­pe­ri­enced first-hand on Hoyles Road last week of the bla­tant abuse of tax­pay­ers monies. The street was buzzing with coun­cil work­ers, and I don’t blame the work­ers as they are do­ing what the em­ployer is telling them to do. There were so many work­ers and ve­hi­cles on my street that I thought it was the Car­bon­ear ver­sion of the Key­stone Cops.

They were fix­ing up the pave­ment, blow­ing peb­bles and dust off the street, and even had their ve­hi­cle sweeper out to clean the streets. I was ex­pect­ing at any mo­ment to see a minesweeper en­ter the har­bour to search the wa­ters and bomb sniff­ing dogs on our streets to sniff out our garbage bins along the course route.

One res­i­dent even com­mented that her street was “washed, sham­pooed, and blow dried” in prepa­ra­tion for this Targa event. There were posts erected and tape placed across drive­ways and peo­ple were told point-blank that they were not al­lowed to be on or near the street dur­ing this spec­tac­u­lar event.

Even our di­rec­tor of op­er­a­tions and pub­lic works was seen plac­ing Targa posters in var­i­ous busi­nesses around town and trav­el­ling through town in his new ve­hi­cle with his am­ber lights flash­ing. This can only hap­pen in Car­bon­ear. What a waste of our taxes.

Streets along the route were patched up for the Targa race. I ob­served on Ma­haney’s Lane that half of the street had been patched, but only up to Soper Av­enue which was the turn-off for the Targa. What an in­sult to the tax­pay­ers that live on Ma­haney’s Lane be­yond the Soper Av­enue turn-off that their part of the street was ne­glected but the race course was looked af­ter.

Ever since spring we have been com­plain­ing about the road con­di­tions and noth­ing was done. One only has to drive Bond Street, Ade­laide Street, and the Val­ley Road to wit­ness the road con­di­tions. All the money that was spent on work­ers’ wages and equip­ment used for this event could have been put to bet­ter use.

I would es­ti­mate close to $20,000 was spent to pre­pare for Targa and not one cent was con­trib­uted by Targa. I watched some of the race and thought this was go­ing to be the big­gest rac­ing event of the year. The speeds on Hoyles Road were no dif­fer­ent from any other day on our street. I have seen quads and dirt bikes driv­ing on my street at faster speeds than the Targa par­tic­i­pants.

The monies wasted on this event by our coun­cil could have been spent more wisely and one way would have been to cut down the brush from the fire hy­drants on our street as you will soon need a GPS to find

It’s time for Coun­cil to get a grip on their spend­ing in this town and spend the tax dol­lars on things that will ben­e­fit the

peo­ple …

them, and we all know coun­cil is in pos­ses­sion of these in­stru­ments.

It’s time for Coun­cil to get a grip on their spend­ing in this town and spend the tax dol­lars on things that will ben­e­fit the peo­ple and not on child­hood fan­tasies like the Tar- ga event. Maybe you should take our con­cerns, along with your Targa dinkies, and go in to your priv­i­leged meet­ings and make some de­ci­sions that will ben­e­fit the peo­ple of Car­bon­ear, but it’s very un­likely that will hap­pen.

Ru­mours are abound in Car­bon­ear that next year our coun­cil will be host­ing the “Run­ning of the Bulls” and this should be a spec­ta­cle to be­hold. Over the past 35 years I have seen the cir­cus per­form­ing down at the town hall, and it still con­tin­ues to per­form. The only thing that has changed is some of the clowns.

Ross Ry­der writes from Car­bon­ear

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