Voice New Westminster Director Mike Walmsley’s Letter to the editor of The Record

I’m outraged to read, “More city staff hit the $100,000 mark,” July 3. The Record.

In the last 18 months many jurisdictions have been looking at ways to cut costs while New Westminster is eager to increase them. From 38 to 72 city employees now in that special “$100,000 Club”! What are we thinking in New Westminster? Where does this insanity stop? Frankly I’m tired of the argument that you have to pay to get good people. I don’t feel that New Westminster gets its money worth. More and more companies continue to do more with less as do many governments and government agencies while we dole it out hand over fist. Hey, come work for New West where the “liv’in is easy”!

On the same train of thought, my electric bill keeps telling me we “enjoy the lowest electrical rates in North America!” How can this be without any economies of scale? Look at the wages we pay the top exec’s in that department of more than $805,000 in 2009. Or if you like more than $2,200 per day; a staggering sum before we even think of adding in the “front line” employees and equipment costs and replacement. This includes a General Manager and two Managers, an incredulous fee for a city the size of New Westminster. Talk about kingdom building! Is that sum with or without benefit? What are the extra costs of expense accounts? A Human Resources Department that sees the top two ranking individuals pulling in more than $300,000 a year. For that kind of money I would expect better managed labour contract negotiations and settlements to keep us more in line with other jurisdictions. A Purchasing Manager that makes $20,000 more than the yearly average identified by PMAC (Purchasing Management Association of Canada) reports for a qualified individual with a university degree and a CPP (Certified Professional Purchaser) designation from the PMAC.

I’m not out to attack individuals for their earnings, but to bring attention to the lack of fiscal control for something as simple as wages and benefits that you and I pay for again and again, everyday. For this we pay over priced senior administrators to tell us that we can expect to pay more and more in the future, including retroactive pay. Where is the control over our tax dollars? I guess the tail really does wag the dog in New West! No wonder they’re all smiling in their newspaper pictures, they’re all laughing all the way to the bank on your dime!

Mike Walmsley, Voice New Westminster Director

3 thoughts on “Voice New Westminster Director Mike Walmsley’s Letter to the editor of The Record

  1. Ain’t that the truth. Keep up the good work.
    Taxes are outa sight, it chases away businesses, growing families and seniors.

  2. I couldn’t agree more with Mike’s letter in today’s News Leader.

    Why are we championing paying higher salaries, thus, higher taxes in a city of less than 60,000 people?

    Has anyone looked at how other cities staff their city hall per capita? It’s well above what we do here in New Westminster, I can assure you!

    I appreciate many things about our city but the fact is, while we have some newly paved roads one of those newly paved roads leads us further into debt faster than a speeding train. Tax payers will be footing this bill for years to come.

    It’s seniors and young families starting out who will suffer here but we keep hearing how council spent countless hours trying to bring down the tax hike to 3.5%. that 3.5% raised our taxes a good deal more than a few hundred. I guess I’m just supposed to suck that up, much like BP has successfully sucked up all that oil.

    Let’s face it folks, bragging about how many city staff we pay in excess of $100,000 is like rubbing our noses in the dog’s business.

    I agree that we don’t get the value out of our tax dollar here. Where are the amenities? A rinky dink dilapidated Centennial Community Center and a smelly old pool. A new pool that’s smaller than the old one and aging parks for the lucky few. Great!

    I’m not suggesting the staff at these facilities aren’t doing a good job but seriously? One community center for so many?

    Queensborough Community Center is too small for the size of this area of town and it suffered serious water damage (great management of that construction) and a fire, rendering it relatively useless for years.

    Singing and praising council and Mayor for spending our hard earned tax dollars is outrageous and an apology is owed to the residents here. Can’t say I’ll ever see the day that city hall admits it was wrong though, particularly when a whole 23% of our population voted them in!

    Voter apathy here needs to change. We need young people to take notice of their boring councilors, Mayor and school board officials and vote. We need the elderly, who can usually be counted upon to vote, to take note of the mistakes of those long elected in this city. We need their voices to speak out against the wrongs of both council and school board. We need them to vote with their conscience and not because some kind young man or “experienced” councillor knocked on their door and whiled away an hour with them on a sunny day.

    We need change in this city and if it’s voice or someone outside the clan at city hall and our school board, it has to be better than who we’ve got there now.

  3. This little town remains a largely undesirable area.I moved here from Vancouver, because I work here. Otherwise, I wouldnt be here. Its unsafe, and unkempt, and yet all I hear from these high paid city hallers is about what a fabulous job they are doing. How about letting us, the people who pay you – decide that??!! You wouldnt have gotten a raise if you had asked us.

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