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LETTER: Central Saanich budget continues to balloon

Pensions and policing services are major expenditures
Central Saanich budget has increased by more than 7%. (Black Press Media File)

The Central Saanich budget has increased again this year – this time by a hefty seven-plus per cent. I read the "Budget Overview" but I did not see an explanation why the transfer to reserve is so large.  Nor do I see what our liability is for district retirees' pensions and benefits.
In this regard, it would be enlightening for council members to read the last few pages of Michael Lewis's book "Boomerang".  He describes how the cities of San Jose and Vallejo, California succumbed to the demands of their public service.  Vallejo had to declare bankruptcy in 2011 because 80% of the budget was owed to its public safety personnel (police and fire).
Also, it looks like police services in Central Saanich are again the largest single municipal expenditure (not including pensions) even though crime in Central Saanich is very low and not of a serious nature. It is a good thing that the firefighting service is largely volunteer.  If we had to pay fully for that service as well, Central Saanich might also be heading towards bankruptcy.
Frank Witthoeft
Brentwood Bay