Letter: Make it easier to see city finances

Dear Editor,

Circumstances beyond my control prevented me from reading any local newspapers for the last eight weeks, and I have only now caught up.

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When I read Mayor Brodie’s reply (Friday, Feb. 13) to the piece “City’s high earners top B.C.,” I checked the City of Vancouver’s website and found its 2015 city council salaries and expenses published for all to see: the mayor earns $155,612 annually, the councillors $68,552.

The website further states that “an annual local expense budget is 10% of the member’s salary.”

By contrast, the City of Richmond does not disclose how much our mayor and councillors earn.

Check under “Council Remuneration” and you’ll find a lot of explanations are offered, but no concrete figures — except that “one-third of Council’s salary is an allowance for expenses and thus non-taxable.”

Why can’t our local government be as transparent as that of Vancouver?

What is Mayor Brodie hiding?

 Many in Richmond are seething about how our taxes are managed and spent, and that’s only one of several issues causing widespread discontent.

I would prefer to respect the people who are making decisions that affect our lives.

Honesty and accountability are two qualities that win respect; obfuscation does the opposite.

Sabine Eiche

Richmond

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