I am writing regarding comments made by Carmen Graf, Mayor of Telkwa, during the public comments portion of the March 26 Village of Telkwa council meeting.
It seems when Mayor Graf doesn’t have a group of volunteers to target with his heavy handed tirades, (for example see the March 14 Interior News for the Mayor’s rant on the RAMP process,) he will seek out individual Telkwa taxpayers.
Mayor Graf flagrantly breached the rules of public comment that is, unless the rules don’t apply to the Mayor.
People attending council meetings cannot ask any questions, nor can they comment on anything other than current agenda items.
The mayor, however, saw fit to launch into an unprecedented tirade.
Mayor Graf questioned Mr. Ethier regarding a web blog posting from last year’s election campaign.
The mayor referred to the comments as slanderous and noted legal action was a potential recourse.
The sentence which offended the Mayor’s sensibilities can be found at www.telkwabridge.com.
Taken in context, the sentence refers to the fact the General Municipal Tax was increased by 20 per cent.
This was exactly enough to offset the $200 Northern Homeowner’s Benefit on the average residence, even though the homeowner’s benefit was intended to relieve the tax burden on homeowners in northern B.C.
Most taxpayers didn’t notice because their final overall tax payment didn’t increase from 2010.
What they are now learning is their tax payment should have gone down by $200.
It’s an incredible stretch for a reader to think that Mr. Ethier was claiming Mayor Graf or anyone else was stealing public funds, even though this is what Mayor Graf seemed to allege.
And our latest surprise?
The 2012 budget proposes to increase property taxes again!
Telkwa taxpayers be warned, you may be threatened with a lawsuit if you speak up.
I wonder, would the lawyer’s fees come out of Mayor Graf’s pocket, or would The Village of Telkwa have to raise our taxes to pay the court costs?