I didn't realize it was possible to be even more cynical of politicians until learning the news that our city council decided to give itself a nice little pay raise. To be fair, not everyone on council is accepting this rather generous perk, including our mayor, but the mere fact that a cabal of politicians unilaterally decided to do this with no study or public input is pretty outrageous and certainly has a lot of people talking. Councillors that were paid $36,000/year for their part-time council positions will now be making $75,000/year. A troika (that would be Allan Vinni, Sheldon Germaine and Keith McGrath) will be paid a full-time salary of $150,000/year. Yes, $150,000. Completely unacceptable. Period.
Their weak excuse seems to be that as they will be working full-time as part of committee dealing with disaster relief efforts due to the fire, they somehow deserve the extra compensation. Yes, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo now has three councillors who are paid more than their counterparts in cities such as Edmonton, Calgary Vancouver and Toronto. Given that the past work of the clowns has seen our downtown engulfed in vacant lot after vacant lot, it is rather reprehensible that they somehow think this jackpot of cash will somehow make them more productive. I'm not holding my breath.
In a community where people have lost their homes or their employment or even both, certain municipal fat cats have decided to belly up to the public trough. I'm not impressed as I found out today that the local living allowance I receive is going to cut effective this month. The mental gymnastics these three fat cats will need to employ should they seek re-election will no doubt be interesting for residents and exhausting for the fat cats.
One of these fat cats, when questioned about this pay hike by local media reportedly launched in to a profanity-laced tirade, telling them "go make up the story and tell them whatever the f*** you want!" and "This town's had enough negative sh*t!" Classy. Real classy. To make the political optics even worse this particular work of art happens to be a lawyer. Well Mr. Allan Vinni, I didn't vote for you in the last municipal election and I certainly won't be voting for you in the next one.
Reportedly, these $150,000 salaries will remain in effect until Dec 31, 2017, so I do hope these three clowns will stop on pay day and look down from their ivory tower to see those who are struggling, those who must rely on food banks, those who are sleeping on couches, those who waiting to return to their homes, those who are living with the stress of not knowing whether the next bill they get will the straw that broke the camel's back for their finances. perhaps even those first responders who worked so tirelessly to save the homes of these fat cats from the flames.