“It’s he principle of the thing madam”.

“Churchill: “Madam, would you sleep with me for five million pounds?” Socialite: “My goodness, Mr. Churchill… Well, I suppose… we would have to discuss terms, of course… ”
Churchill: “Would you sleep with me for five pounds?”
Socialite: “Mr. Churchill, what kind of woman do you think I am?!” Churchill: “Madam, we’ve already established that. Now we are haggling about the price”

So here we have it…….Monday night’s Common Council meeting the guys and gals around the horseshoe gave themselves a few more bucks. It’s not the amount folks …..IT”S THE PRINCIPLE”. Few would argue about the amount that Common Council voted for themselves, it the principal. Most councilors knew exactly what the responsibilities and compensation was when they re-offered to run for Council. Why with less than a year into a four year term are looking for more money?.  Any vote to increase financial compensation should have been applied to the next council other this council is in a clear and obvious conflict of interest…. would you agree?.

Over the years, on occasion,  I have been accused of lacking objectivity in some of my articles I decided this morning to do a little public poll. I asked a couple retired gentlemen at coffee if they agreed with the increase in compensation for councilors. I’m afraid that I can’t use some of the off colour superlatives that were used but the one comment ended with “They had better not come knocking on my door come next election”.

So here we have it, at last night’s council meeting we learned that Fire, Police and Councilor will end up with a fatter wallet but a  few organizations like Saint John’s Cherry Brook Zoo, the Human Development Council and PRUDE will have to go hat in hand. We continue to see a slow decades long systematic erosion of services to the taxpayers while still more and more of “OUR” tax dollars are slowly siphoned off into wages and benefits for anyone associated with City Hall.

While listening to Mayor Darling this morning on CBC I could almost see him squirm as he was asked about the Mayor’s pay raise. He says that he will donate the 2017 raise in pay to a worthy cause but was non-committal for the balance of the term.

Most folks would agree the responsibilities for being Mayor of Toronto are a little more demanding than say …………the Mayor of St. George?  What about Saint John? Applying the logic of size matters how is it that when Saint John had a population of over 90 thousand people and a lot more employees the Mayor’s position was part time and now that we have a population of 70 thousand and fewer City staff the Mayor’s position has become full time?

Perhaps Mayor and Council needs to be reminded they are a Board of Directors with the responsibility of setting policy and direction, not to micro-mange day to day operations, that’s why we have a City Manager.

Should the voting public have a good memory some Councilors may find they are not as welcome come next election. Not for the amount they are awarding themselves but rather the manner in which it was achieved…. it’s the principle folks, it the principle.

Think about it.