Closed door meetings are no way to treat taxpayers
Surrey, B.C. (March 4, 2021): Surrey First Councillor Linda Annis doesn’t believe the city’s mayor and councillors should be voting on their own pay raises. Annis said the in camera vote to increase the pay of the mayor and each city councillor is no way to treat Surrey’s taxpayers.
“I want to see two changes going forward,” said Annis. “First, any vote on salary increases for elected officials should be public, period. Second, no Surrey city council should ever vote on their own salary increase. If council is going to vote to increase salaries then those new salaries should apply to the next council, not the current one. Every one of us who ran and got elected knew what the salary was when we ran. So, why are we voting to increase our salaries half way through the term. If we’re going to vote on any salary changes then those changes should apply to the next council not this one, and the vote should be completely public and transparent. This isn’t our money, it belongs to the people who elected us.”
Annis said that because the vote was in camera, councillors cannot talk about how they voted. However, Annis said she will be donating her increase to the Surrey Firefighters’ Charitable Society and the work they do on behalf of Surrey’s children.
“I believe that in camera, behind-closed-door meetings are being used too often these days by the mayor and his four remaining Safe Surrey councillors as a way to keep taxpayers in the dark,” added Annis. “The salaries of the mayor and city councillors are not a personnel issue, there’s no need for secrecy. Instead, there is a real need for transparency. We’re elected by the people of Surrey, we work for them and they have a right to know how and where their tax dollars are being spent. Frankly, this lack of transparency has become a real hallmark of the mayor and his four councillors, and our citizens are absolutely fed up.”
Councillor Linda Annis