Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Are YOU A Servant To the Public Service?

Nanaimo City Council Agreed To Pay $480,000.00 To Retiring City Manager Mr. Jerry Berry. At the same time they say they are watching how your tax dollars are spent! (To contact members of Council, click on photo)

Is An Attitude of Arrogance and Entitlement Killing Democracy?

One of the comments left on the petition to have an independent review of this matter makes the valid point that the average taxpayer has in fact become the servant of the public servant! Now, wait a minute and let that sink in!

If you have been following the drama at city hall surrounding the departure of city manager Jerry Berry you will realize that between the office of city manager and deputy city manager, the Nanaimo taxpayer has been paying nearly $500,000.00 per year in salary. That is just for two positions.

Now, you could argue that the city of Nanaimo is a large corporation with a large budget, and you really don't want it run by the people on city council. Therefore you have to pay top dollar to get top talent.

Fair enough. However, it is now being revealed that the position of Deputy City Manager was never needed in the first place! That is obvious as Mayor Ruttan says that taxpayers will see great savings in the future as this position is not being replaced. In fact, he claims that other staff members will be doing the duties of Mr. A. Kenning ( ex-Deputy City Manager, now City Manager) which will reap great savings for Nanaimo citizens.

The only logical conclusion one can draw from this turn of events, is that Mr. Kenning was never needed in the first place!

Think about it. We are being told that City Councils for years and years have been paying $200,000.00 per year for a position that never was needed. So, it would not be out of line, to ask how many other such positions exist within the hallowed halls of City Hall.

You might also wonder if the men and women we elect to City Council are actually the ones in charge anyway. They don't seem to have noticed waste at the highest level of city staffing for the past decades.

Arrogance and Entitlement

In what regular job do you suppose a person can ask to take an early retirement, after being paid over $200,000.00 per year for many years, along with gold plated benefits, and be paid full wages and benefits for two years until their pension kicks in? Go ahead, ask your boss and see how far you get.

Of course in the 'real world' you would be laughed out of the boss's office and asked to take a mandatory drug test, since you clearly must have been smoking something.

Now enter the fantasy world of elected officials and public 'servants' (that's rich), you are entitled to be paid considerably more than anyone doing the equivalent job in the private sector, you will be entitled to a gold plated pension the average joe couldn't even dream of, you will be entitled to all sorts of other benefits such as banked sick days, full medical and dental (means you contribute nothing), car allowances, expense accounts and on and on it goes.

Is it any wonder people are staying away from the polls more and more all the time. The attitude that it really does not matter who you vote for, because they are all the same anyway, is what is killing the democratic process in our great country.

Remember all those 'in camera' meetings surrounding the VICC, now remember some of the promises for a more open new government at city hall?

Now consider how this openness plays out in real life; Mayor Ruttan and the rest of council agree to pay $480,000.00 to Jerry Berry to stay home and wait for his pension. They also will not bring into the light exactly why in the world they think paying a half a million dollars for doing nothing is what they were elected to do. The fact they think it is a good idea calls into question their business sense also.

Is it any wonder the average person just throws up their hands and says "what is the use, they are all the same".

If you are one of the few who believe that democracy can work when we all take the time to be informed and participate, why not contact members of city council and tell them exactly what you think of this latest waste of nearly half a million of YOUR dollars! For a contact list for Mayor and Council use this Nanaimo Info LINK.


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