A few questions

Dear sir:
I have a few questions for town council after watching and listening to them debate the issue of paying benefits at their last meeting June 28.
Coun. Gilson, you mentioned you were aware of the remuneration paid to councillors prior to the election. I assume the other prospective councillors were, as well.
Coun. Kabel, if you hired a person to work at a place of business for $10 per hour on Nov. 1 and they came back and demanded $13.50 per hour in January, how would you react?
Or say, they wanted $10 per hour, plus transportation to and from work plus uniforms, equating to $3.50 per hour, would you call that an increase or raise? It sounds like 35 percent to me.
That would be equivalent to benefits for a councillor. If you multiply that by seven, it comes to $24,500 (or 24,500 free bags of garbage). I would estimate this would equate to nearly two months of garbage pick-up for town residents.
Clerk Treftlin, I would like to ask you if the town employs any part-time staff. Does a part-time staff member (say a .25) receive full benefits? If councillors are entitled to full benefits, would part-time staff be entitled to them, as well?
Would the benefits be paid in full by the town or the employee?
Coun. Wiedenhoeft, do you know what criteria was used 17 years ago to have councillor benefits paid?
I’m sure most councillors would not refuse benefits if they were offered, but I’m not sure if part-time employees deserve full benefits. Most companies do not offer such a generous package.
Coun. Avis, you said council compared remuneration with Kenora, Dryden, Greenstone, and one other community. Did the members of these councils receive full benefits? It would be interesting public knowledge to have their salary packages disclosed.
Mayor Onichuk, in the last salary review, did the mayor’s salary increase about $4,000? Did councillors’ salary increase about $500? Did the increase take place after the benefits were removed? Were they intended to lessen the impact of lost benefits?
This issue may warrant another salary review (please note, the $4,000 increase and the $500 increase are roughly 22 percent and five percent raises, respectively, plus you want benefits—35 percent—reinstated).
As a Channel 10 viewer, it seemed that some councillors have grouped together to push this issue through. When it first came up after the election, Mayor Onichuk broke the tie to not have the issue discussed at council. Since that time, it seems things have changed.
Is this the change we were promised during the municipal election campaign? In a time of cutbacks and restraints, is this positive leadership?
I know council and the mayor work hard and the job is difficult. I would have hoped you knew this when you filed your papers to run for office.
I also feel it is a little early to re-negotiate your salary to a taxpayer cost of 35 percent when the town is in financial difficulty.
Terry Ogden
An interested citizen
and taxpayer
Fort Frances, Ont.