In response to Sophie Salva’s letter on taxes and her sewage system issue (Sewage issue stings after seeing city salaries, July 9, 2014).
Having to decide on sticking to the Local Government Act was one of the most difficult calls council has had to make. In such an issue, it feels right to say this is not fair to a citizen who seems to carry no blame for the blockage. If it were I in the same position, my first and probably second response would be the same.
The third and final consideration falls into the category of council being the elected guardian of your tax dollars. (Although I am sure many of us may not feel that way at tax time.) Fortunately, the act provides for guards against having to spend your tax dollars to pay for many things that are not the city’s fault or financial responsibilities (ie; your responsibility as a taxpayer), such as: it is not a municipalities’ responsibility to clear snow from the mouth of driveways or shovel downtown sidewalks in front of privately owned buildings, pay to remove an illegal sign or, cover damages for which an insurer will not pay. (Some things do get paid for by the city because polls say a vast majority of taxpayers want it.)
I feel Sophies’ sense of unfairness. For the city to pay would be the empathetic thing to do, but speaking for myself it didn’t quite fit the criteria of the most fair decision for the greatest number. (It’s) the type of decision city staff and management have to make many times a day… always a tough call to make.
Councillor, City of Revelstoke