Mayors must put money where mouths are

Mayors talk about implementing sales taxes, road taxes, gas taxes and other schemes for grabbing money from the taxpayers’ wallet.

Editor: The article on road pricing and tolls (The Times, May 20) spurred me and my partner on.  It’s more conceptual thinking of ways to get money out of the pockets of people who own cars.

Anyone living South of the Fraser River will find it difficult to move around without a vehicle and yet again, mayors are devising ways to get money out of people who own cars. I have a question for these mayors — do they all own cars and drive them daily?

Shame on them if they say yes, and do and not use the public transit that is provided.  It is galling that they talk about implementing sales taxes, road taxes, gas taxes and other schemes for grabbing money from the taxpayers’ wallet. They do not walk the talk.

Please don’t tell me that they need to get to-and-fro quickly in order to meet their constituency needs. That’s just rubbish. They don’t want to take public transit any more than the next guy — they just need to come up with a way to reap more money from the general public to pay for a system that has been broken for a very long time.

Here are some suggestions for mayors:

1. Give half your pay to TransLink. Stand behind what you say about public transit and support it, instead of paying lip service to it.  Do what you are hired to do and represent the public, instead of looking after yourselves.

2. Agree to reduce your benefits or eliminate them in order to pay for public transit.

3. Get rid of TransLink — most people in the Lower Mainland would vote ‘yes’ on that one.  We lost the faith a long time ago, and if you put it to a referendum, most would not disagree with this notion.

4. Gas taxes — we all know they are dumped into general revenue where all politicians feed. Put it to proper use on roads and bridges.

We have seen no accountability from TransLink, and mayors are passing the buck. If every conceptual idea that our collective mayors come up with had to go to a referendum, expect it to be voted down. Mayors must represent the people and their best interests first.

Everyone these days gets into government to secure a healthy wage, benefits and pension. We pay a lot of taxes to all levels of government, but yet no one seems to know where the money is going or has been spent.  Perhaps the trial of Mike Duffy is a big hint.

Sandra Steffan,

Langley

Langley Times