By the Maven | Interesting happenings at City Hall this week. The right made an assault on the left by forcing them to deny their COLA (cost of living allowance) increases.
Now, on face value what’s so bad about councillors refusing a pay increase?
I have no idea what is appropriate to pay a city councillor or what increases they should get. What I do know is that in the bad old days, councillors and school trustees were not paid. Holding these positions was considered public service.
There were two problems with this. First, these jobs were considered part time. As a result most elected officials were not capable of making proper public policy because they never gave the time necessary to educate themselves on the issues.
Maybe that was just as well because of the second problem. Only the rich could afford to run for an office that would not pay them. What working person could possibly either quit work or take the time off work necessary to hold public office?
Which brings us to Rob and Doug Ford. They can. Why? Because they are rich.
It’s that simple. While playing the little guys’ friend, these two guys are millionaires.
So, again, I don’t know what a councillor should be paid. But I do know that they should be paid reasonably well for a job that takes a lot of work and responsibility. Otherwise we aren’t going to get good people in the office.
But what really pisses me off is Doug Ford making a public show of donating his entire salary to charity. Of course he can…because he is rich. He doesn’t need the money, unlike some of the working class people who run for office but still need to provide for a family.
You know what would be a REAL gesture? Why doesn’t Dougie try living on his councillor’s salary and donate his CORPORATE salary to charity?
Now that would be something to cheer for.
Oh. And while I’m at it. Let me add one more rant. Isn’t power a seductive asset? Just like the Conservatives in Ottawa, all of whom have agreed to be neutered by Steven Harper just to be in cabinet and in power, the conservative councillors at City Hall have castrated themselves politically just so they can have any appointment in the Ford Administration. Imagine a politician who has been on council for 20 years agreeing to take orders from Dougie who has about 20 minutes experience in urban affairs.
Well, if power is an aphrodisiac all the conservative councillors at City Hall must be stoned!
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