To the editor:
With a shrinking population and tax base in Thompson due Vale’s downsizing and the ripple effect still to come, it’s time for financial austerity and a serious look at all of the City of Thompson’s operations and where productivity and return on investment is best placed. As the City has asked the public for input on these matters and has already cut back on youth programs for the summer, which is a penny wise - pound foolish approach, this is NOT the time to raise executive management salaries as recommended by the city manager’s memo of June 26. It may only be $25,000 a year, but over the next four years that $100,000 could be used for youth summer programs that would be much better spent.
Regardless whether “salary increases have mirrored increases union employees received” or not, that policy needs to be reviewed immediately. It’s time for our community leaders and city management to show some fiduciary responsibility and be accountable to the taxpayer. Salary increases are not acceptable during Thompson’s economic plight and only months before municipal elections. Council can defer any increase in spending until after the election, let the public have their say, and let a new council make that decision. That would be the responsible approach to take.
Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa and admired by the world, once said his job as leader was “to serve my people”. Council needs to show some true leadership and make decisions that serve and benefit the community at large and not just executive staff. If this gets approved by council, there should be a public outcry!