The raucous sounds of slurping at the trough are reverberating off the hills around Rossland and taxpayers shudder in disbelief.
Our new CAO, Cecile Arnott, has very quickly shown she is a diligent protégé of her mentor, former CAO Victor Kumar. Barely weeks into her new position she has carried on the extravagance displayed by Mr. Kumar. Her action in granting Tracey Butler a $20,000 raise, and a new title, following the $13,500 raise Ms. Butler has already received this year as a result of Mr. Kumar’s generosity, is ridiculous.
Nobody, no matter how many titles they get, or how their responsibilities change, should be entitled to a 39% increase in one year, particularly at Rossland City Hall.
The grossly offensive increase provided to Ms. Butler is entirely the responsibility of Ms. Arnott. She is responsible for all the other employees of the City, not Council. It is just more proof that the Delegation Bylaw needs to be repealed quickly and replaced with something that gives Council more oversight and control over the unconscionable spending habits of a bureaucrat.
Data obtained from other communities of comparable size, indicate that the salaries paid to management staff in Rossland, are close to the highest, if not the highest, in the province.
Given Rossland’s high taxes, and the lack of industrial assessment enjoyed by other communities, there is no reasonable justification for such elevated salaries, no matter how hard Ms. Arnott tries to rationalize the numbers.
Unfortunately, given the bounteous severance packages included in the contracts of Ms. Arnott and Ms. Butler, taxpayers are pretty much stuck with what has been provided to them since it will be very expensive to terminate the contracts. It’s too bad Councillor Cary Fisher didn’t start asking questions about what could be cut from the budget before Council agreed to hire Ms. Arnott.