Dec. 1, 2009
I am appalled by the poor judgement shown by the Mayor and a majority of Cornwall city councillors in giving a 14% pay increase to the city’s CAO. The CAO’s salary, which will increase from $154,313 to $175,000 this January and rise by an additional 5% each year for the next 3 years , is clearly exorbitant. It is also inconsistent with council’s request to city staff to hold the line in next year’s budget.
The Mayor and city councillors should not lose sight of the fact that 25% of local families are living below the poverty line and that far too many local residents, who are living on low or fixed incomes, are struggling to make ends meet. Indeed, the demand at the city’s largest food bank, the Agape Centre, is up 23% over last year and one-third of its clients are the working poor.
Kudos to city councillors Mark MacDonald, Mary Ann Hug, and Kim Baird for showing common sense and leadership in speaking out and voting against the CAO’s excessive pay increase.
The city of Cornwall has great potential but so much more needs to be done to attract good jobs in the new green economy , to reduce poverty , and to build a healthier community. This, of course, will require long term planning, good judgement, vision, and leadership on the part of the Mayor and city council.
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My opinion on the $20,000 plus raise given to the CAO is that it’s OBSCENE! Given these hard times, this was not the right time to start giving raises and especially in an amount which a lot of Cornwall residents (read families) don’t earn in a year (and this was just a raise). God Bless the CAO, I’m sure he’s worth every penny but this is not the right time! When are elections? I know who I’m NOT voting for and I’m sure most of the population does too! Lets get some new blood in council who WILL represent us!