Demeaning CVRD directors uncalled for
I find myself forced to protest against both the content and tone of the letter sent by one Bill Dumont of Cobble Hill. How ungracious do we need to be to make our point? Mr. Dumont is entitled to argue against an increase in compensation for CVRD directors, but his personal attacks on individuals are uncalled for.
His language is inflammatory and disrespectful, and I wonder if the Citizen should perhaps reconsider an editorial policy that allows publication of letters that impugn the honour and motives of other individuals for no better reason than simple disagreement. Mr. Dumont evidently objects to the proposed increase; that is his right. What is not right is to name Directors Acton and Morrison as directly responsible for “spearheading this disgusting nonsense,” demanding their resignations and accusing them of “trying to pick the public’s pocket for such an outrageous raise.” That strays from the facts and wanders into outright vilification and shameful character assassination.
As for the issue itself, the implication that a “whopping $11,000 or 33 per cent raise” is “tone deaf and irresponsible” seems unjust to this taxpayer without being told when the last increase was made. This position requires the director to work close to full time hours and still be available to constituents whenever they contact them. It also raises the question of whether it is an excessive compensation for the many hours of meetings, preparation and constituency response required of elected public servants overseeing a budget in excess of $100 million. Mr. Dumont considers these people “undeserving politicians,” which causes this sometime volunteer member of his area Advisory Planning and Parks commissions to wonder if he has ever once spent time volunteering in his community to learn just how hard his elected representatives work in the first place. It is so easy to sit on the sidelines and howl insults at the people doing the work.
Finally, as someone who has endured more than 10 years of various budget meetings, I can assure Mr. Dumont that Director Morrison in particular spends a great deal of time and effort keeping tax increases down while still maintaining the service and infrastructure at ever increasing costs. You see, some of us actually know what we are talking about.