By Letter to the Editor on October 11, 2017.
Vince Kovacs’ Sept. 30, letter, “Time for change on city council,” speaks of high taxes residents pay, less-fortunate children in school with empty tummies, seniors unable to pay taxes – pills, food bank use increasing rapidly annually, et al, and city administration “patting itself on the back” for a job well done.
All valid points, but rest assured, taxpayers, your city manager is not suffering – he is right at the top of highest-paid city managers in the country, most by a significant margin regardless of population served. According to the city’s 2016 Annual Report, as of Dec. 31, 2016, the city manager of Lethbridge drew a salary of $311,000 plus benefits and allowances totalling $50,000 for a grandiose total of $361,000 (an increase of $11,000 over 2015). Do the arithmetic and observe an outrageous cheque one person draws monthly on the public nickel.
Adding to the travesty is that very few taxpayers in our fair city know the name of this person, what elected council OK’d the lavish wage, or names and salaries of multitudes junior to him secure in their cubbyholes who actually run this city. Taxpayers have long been fooled into thinking their vote counts – your “elected” council and selected mayor run the city – they don’t. Think about it!
On Oct. 16 your vote will not change much except a seat or two on council. Not much you do on that day will change anything the city manager and his administration has planned. Just as your voice and your opinion matter not much as you struggle with a horribly undemocratic agenda review committee vetting your words prior to your presentation in council chambers.
It’s all part of a tragic set of circumstances residents have been fooled into thinking they control by their vote every four years! On Oct. 17, residents will not have influenced much – we voted, sure – but we changed very little going on behind the big doors at city hall!
Alvin W. Shier
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