Letter to Mayor Ruttan from reader C.J. Adams

Please note that the 6.1% figure referred to by Mr Adams in the third paragraph came from the initial staff report

Mayor John Ruttan

City Hall – Nanaimo

8 April 2010

Dear Mayor Ruttan.

I am attaching to this letter a copy of a letter prepared In late September 2006, which was addressed primarily to “the Premier of BC” and his then “Minister responsible for Municipal Affairs” (Ms Ida Chong). The response I received from all addresses was a disgraceful joke!

The content of my letter of September 06 is even more applicable today because the number of excluded personnel in City Hall has increased to over 100, and in addition the salaries of all these people has increased significantly (plus expenses) during the past three years.

I do not know what kind of a platform you had when elected in the last municipal election, but nevertheless both my wife and I voted for you • precisely because we understood you to be a businessman. We supposed that you would bring some sorely needed business acumen to the running of City Hall – alas to date we have seen no sign of strong leadership and you have appeared to have sided with the those older members of Council who are responsible for placing all residential taxpayers in ever increasing debt for years to come. The local media always quote you as stating that you wish to increase property taxes by 6.1 % in 2010. I note that you do not live in Nanaimo, but have a business in the city and that you are anxious to decrease “business taxes”. You are the Mayor of Nanaimo and are supposed to represent those voters who elected you. Nothing has been done to my knowledge to recover the millions of dollars paid to Triarc I Millennium for failing to meet their contractual obligations for building a hotel to support the so called Conference Centre. No doubt you have read the many letters published in the local press copies of two examples also attached dated April 6 and 7′ – which express the views of many taxpayers.

Regardless of my personal feelings of your Mayoral performance to date, I would ask you to read my Sept 06 letter, and take some decisive action as Mayor of Nanaimo to demand that those persons (fat cats if you wish) in the excluded category

1) are denied any salary or expense increases for 2010

2) that serious action is taken by you to cut the fat in city hall

3) examine the urgent possibility of cutting excessive salaries

4) establish a Council Committee designed to examine the annual “EXPENSE ACCOUNT” of City Hall staff (last year I believe expenses totaled in excess of $700,000)

5) examine the need for City Hall employees being awarded “Car allowances”

6) immediately institute measures to disallow those employees collecting tax dollars to pay their so called “professional dues”. When I asked a senior city employee “how much” was involved, I was told I would have to apply under the “freedom of information legislation” (so I immediately “smelt a rat”), and

7) it is essential that all excluded City Hall employees be subjected to an annual performance assessment -as is the rule today in the Federal Public Service and Canadian Armed Forces. Annual pay increases should be determined only if the employee is so recommended by their superiors!

Finally if you wish to be re-elected in the next election, it is imperative for you to exercise some decisive leadership along the lines that I have suggested, because I am not the only Nanaimo resident who is disappointed with your performance to date. Nanaimo City Hall in my opinion is overdue for such action.

Yours truly,

C.J. Adams

Nanaimo, BC