And this, from Deputy Mayor Ches Ash …
I wish to provide my personal response to the letter to the editor by Ross Ryder, as published in the Oct. 2 edition of The Compass.
I commend Mr. Ryder for his interest in the spending practices of the town and his interest in seeing the town’s tax dollars spent wisely. Mr. Ryder states at the beginning of his letter to the editor, “This group (the members of council) has no regard to spending our tax dollars wisely as is evident by their spending practices in the past.”
In my opinion this comment is inaccurate and unfounded. I am, therefore, providing a detailed response to his letter.
He references the salaries of the town administrator, the town clerk, and the director of operations and works, stating that their salaries are high compared to ordinary workers. I think most of us if not all of us consider ourselves as ordinary people, living ordinary lives and doing ordinary work. Whether we are police officers, labourers, store clerks, teachers, equipment operators, construction workers, office managers or nurses, our salaries are determined essentially by the skill training, educational background and experience we have acquired and the responsibilities associated with our employment position.
Research will show that the salaries paid by the town for these positions are reasonable and are comparable to salaries paid by other municipalities of similar size.
Remuneration is in accordance with the guidelines of the Department of Municipal Affairs. Actually, it is somewhat less than allowed. The Town of Carbonear uses approximately 1.5 per cent for council remuneration and reimbursement. Considering the time and commitment required to fulfill the duties and responsibilities of being a member of council, the cost for remuneration for Carbonear is quite reasonable.
Members of council, early in our term, recognized the importance of promoting and marketing our town. What was developed was a package deal of promotional and marketing material as well as recommendations as to how to best market the town. The logo was but part of a very important package for the Town of Carbonear.
Promotional display boards for the town using local residents for the photography shoots, informational literature, community profile booklets, etc. were also part of this project. Though the expenditures were one time, the information and material provided will be used on a continuing basis for the next few years.
We live in a very competitive society, especially with regards to development and the attraction of businesses to our town. It is crucial that as a council we do our part in promoting and marketing the town and that we use professional designed material in doing so.
Over the next few years, there is the potential for significant business and residential growth for this town. I don’t know for certain if that will happen but I do know that this current council is totally committed to promoting and marketing our town. Any money spent in this regard is money spent wisely.