Financial crisis looming for city

Trends indicate the city’s financial structure is on the path to becoming a crisis unless the direction is reversed.

To the Editor,

In the period from 2006 to 2010, the population of the City of Nanaimo increased from 78,874 to 85,828, up 8.8 per cent.

During the same period, the sum total of salaries,wages and benefits for city employees increased from $34.8 million to $43.6 million, up an eye-opening 25.2 per cent.

This trend line indicates that the city’s financial structure is on the path to becoming a crisis unless the direction is reversed, sooner rather than later, and is a result of ongoing and relentless wage increases for both union and non-union employees and the insatiable appetite to hire more employees.

In 2012, the city intends to add an additional 12 positions, one of which will be the notable communications manager.

There is only one way the city can pay for these new positions, and that is to raise taxes. This it does and does very well.

Unfortunately, the elected officials – mayor and council – are, as a group, woefully out of their depth on matters of financial management, both in experience and educational background.

They are overwhelmed and dominated by the slick presentations of senior staff.

Seven of nine members of council voted to approve the latest budget.

Eventually, if the trend continues, the majority of taxes will be  consumed by city employees, with less being available for asphalt, concrete, steel, etc. to support needed improvements to infrastructure.

This is unsustainable and does not bode well for the future of Nanaimo.

Wayne Schulstad

Nanaimo

Just Posted

Not-all-candidates’ debate organized with voters in mind

Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce and Our Nanaimo using application process to select participants

School district to look into busing limitations in Lantzville

School bus routes consolidated for efficiency, but parents communicate concerns

Get ready for a week of sunshine across Vancouver Island

Environment Canada is forecasting temperatures in the high teens all this week

Community’s water stewards celebrate Nanaimo Rivers Day

Event at Bowen Park on Sunday included barbecue, stream walk and information booths

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Homelessness a symptom of society’s ills

I think people feel hopeless about themselves and about this society, says letter writer

Video: Flyers new mascot ‘Gritty’ a bearded, googly-eyed terror

The Philadelphia Flyers unveiled their new mascot Monday, and as one would expect of the team that gave us the “Broad Street Bullies,” he’s far from cuddly.

Candidate lists finalized for Nanaimo, Lantzville, RDN, school district

Nomination deadline passes in advance of Oct. 20 local government elections

Supreme Court grants injunction against Nanaimo’s Discontent City

Justice Ronald Skolrood’s decision released this morning

United Way, with public’s support, willing to tackle challenging issues

Minister shares stories during Nanaimo event to launch United Way fundraising campaign

Lantzville councillor Swain hoping to become mayor

Mark Swain wants to ensure development follows the official community plan

Harvest Moon to light up B.C. skies with an ‘autumn hue’

It’s the first moon after the autumn equinox

Hockey league gets $1.4M for assistance program after Humboldt Broncos crash

Program will help players, families, coaches and volunteers after the shock of the deadly crash

Canada has removed six out of 900 asylum seekers already facing U.S. deportation

Ottawa had said the ‘overwhelming majority’ had been removed

Most Read