LETTER: Referendum on council pay will prove challenging

Re: Central Saanich councillor proposes referendum on remuneration.

I would like to commend Coun. Zeb King for bringing to reader’s attention the need for means of addressing this very important issue.

While the idea of a “referendum” has certain appeal, there are major difficulties to overcome. Mainly, the amount of preparation time, and the likelihood that voter turnout may very well be below the dismal turnout for municipal elections. Organized special interest groups easily hijack referendums, thus making a mockery of the results.

The remuneration must be transparent, fiscally responsible, and sufficient to attract quality candidates and easily understood by the electorate.

The level of compensation must be reviewed prior to every election, with any changes being in place before the election date. The decision would be for the term of the council.

Citizens applying with their qualifications and history of community involvement could form a committee of town residents. Someone would make the selection that is independent of the current council and town administration. Not perfect, but easier and with less cost of a referendum.

Brian Head

Sidney

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