Snouts in the trough

Many municipal politicians treat the public with contempt.

Editor: I don’t know who wrote the editorial (The Times, Oct. 1) suggesting longer terms for municipal politicians, but they clearly don’t know anything about the subject or democracy. Every year, the Union of B.C. Municipalities trots out this self-serving claptrap to keep their greedy snouts in the public trough a little longer.

The current three-year terms (which were brought in by Rita Johnston) have been a disaster, right up there with scrapping the Inspector of Municipalities and “empowering” councils through the Community Charter.

I’m a former mayor and councillor. We used to have very economical annual elections and a high level of accountability and stewardship. November elections were a routine job carried out by staff at little cost. Now staff are apparently incapable, and every third year “consultants” are hired to run an unnecessarily expensive election.

Elected officials now treat the public with contempt, secure in the knowledge that they cannot be voted out for three whole years and don’t have to report to anyone in between. The harm being done to B.C.’s communities by entrenched politicians and mandarins is enormous.

Bring back annual accountability, I say. Give the voters a voice, a vote and a veto on incompetence. Stop this degradation and dumbing-down of our democratic system.

John allen,

Harrison Hot Springs