An open letter to Mayor Jonathan Cote:
After reading the local paper, I can tell you that I am appalled at the level of tax increase being proposed.
I don't know about you, but I can guarantee being a public sector employee myself, my wages certainly have not increased by this amount.
In the article, I did not see where there was any effort to reduce the increased amount. It appears that there are only additions to increase the budget.
I have been a citizen of New Westminster for well over 20 years and have continually watched the city spend money with what appears to be deep pockets. New playgrounds, the Anvil Centre, new pool, new outdoor pool, new fashionable street signs, etc. The rates continue to increase every year. It looks like the city thinks the community is an endless source of cash.
What are we actually doing to work within the budgets rather than increasing the rates every year?
I live in Brow of the Hill and I can tell you that our sidewalks are in very poor condition, yet I see you are spending money on hiring more staff for the city and it seems that the positions being filled are positions that the city could manage without until the budget is under better control.
The municipal sector wages are the highest in the public sector and the positions that actually receive wage increases in the public sector. This is not the reality for most citizens in your community.
New Westminster is now becoming unaffordable.
Let’s be realistic as to what our community can afford.
I realize from a political perspective cutbacks are not popular, however if people cannot sustain a reasonable standard of living due to the outrageous tax increases, it seems to me you are not doing a service to your constituents.
Do not blame the employee medical plan increases when you are not doing anything else to manage your costs. Put projects on hold until you can determine a way to work within your budgets like most of us have to do to affordably live in our communities.
I am a citizen that is considering moving. I will retire within the next two years and will not be able to afford to live here any longer if this continues.
Michele Kelly, New Westminster