Letters: Escalating costs are unrealistic

Sooke's Five year financial plan is not realistic says councillor

There seems to be a misunderstanding in the municipal world that wages should increase every year and taxes should go up two, three or four times the cost of living. All in the name of better service or downtown improvements.

When are the people paying these taxes going to finally hit a breaking point? How low a standard are we willing to have before we say something. I fail to grasp the logic behind the increases as we see the rest of the world collapsing and making changes to cover the cost of rising debt. I’ll bet Greece was like us once upon a time. So remember in five years taxes are projected to increase by 15 per cent just here in Sooke.

Now add this to the rising ferry costs, post office, gasoline, Hydro rates and the millions to subsidize CRD recycling programs etc. Government wants to routinely increase every year so people will budget for it and expect it.

What this does is make efficiencies irrelevant in the work place and the worst kind of inefficiency is the absolute acceptance of these inefficiencies. So, I’m letting you all behind the curtain on this one because no one seems to be complaining out loud. And yes, I will be chastised for all this talk about the public interest because we are told people just don’t understand government… yada yada.

So, excuse me and let me be blunt for a moment. Our sewer operation cost was about $475,000 five years ago and now it is almost $1.2 million. Is it because we get better service? The boat launch was originally to cost $500,000 yet in the end $2.4 million give or take and it still costs 10 bucks to use it.

These were all part of your last few five year plans with minor increases. Just the cost of a cup of coffee per day they said. The district is doing about one–third of the business we did in 2007 yet we have the same staffing numbers.

Remember the efficiencies I mentioned? Council needs to bring in a five-year plan that reflects the realities of the day. Or, as governments become less and less efficient, the more it will cost to live under its umbrella.

Herb Haldane