LETTER: Paying extravagant salaries doesn’t attract the best people

There are capable and intelligent people who would be CAO for $100,000 per year, says letter-writer

RE: Top Sooke officials double up expenses (News, June 21)

Why was Sooke CAO Teresa Sullivan paid $140,058 in 2016?

An RCMP staff sergeant, whose job is highly stressful and demanding, earns just over $112,000 per year.

Air Canada pilots, responsible for dozens of lives, get an average of about $135,000 per year. Provincial deputy ministers, in charge of multi-million-dollar budgets and dozens of staff, earn less than Sullivan, who oversaw a roughly $20-million budget and about 35 staff. Heck, Sullivan earned only about $10,000 less than our MLA John Horgan.

Now please don’t roll out the tired argument that municipalities have to pay top dollar to attract top talent. It hasn’t worked in Sooke. Since incorporating 18 years ago, Sooke has had a revolving door of CAOs so big bucks are not a guarantee of big – and lasting – talent.

I’m certain there are very capable and intelligent people who would be CAO for $100,000 per year. And Sooke is a desirable place to live. Paying extravagant salaries isn’t necessary to attract quality workers but if the money isn’t coming out of your pocket, perhaps it doesn’t matter.

Shannon Moneo

Sooke

Re: Flagperson struck by vehicle on Sooke Road (News, June 14)

I see three factors in dangers to road flagpersons.

Obviously, some drivers are jerks who drive dangerously and abuse flagpersons.

But flagpersons are a danger to themselves.

In my judgement they should never turn their back to vehicles, never stand in front of vehicles – one slip by a driver and they are maimed or worse.

Only one flagging company operating in the Victoria area has many competent employees, the rest are deficient in safety and sense.

Construction companies doing their own flagging range from good to incompetent jerks.

I suggest flagpersons carry a noisemaker to warn workers ahead if a driver is proceeding against instructions, instead of standing in the way of thousands of pounds of motorized metal.

The third problem I see is policing – lack of feet on the street and a poor attitude. Abusive jerks and deliberately dangerous drivers need to be re-educated by police in their face repeatedly. Their bad behaviour around flagpersons is not an isolated phenomenon – their mentality exploits people in other ways that endanger them.

Will voters develop and elect officials who will hire only competent contractors and put police on the street instead of spending on fluff like town poets and palm trees?

Keith Sketchley

Saanich

We seem to still, collectively, be suckers; gulping down the outright lies of politicians hook, line, and sinker.

I have already cast my vote. And it wasn’t for the Liberals.

Allen Szafer

Sooke

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