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LETTER: Bradford council suddenly finds the 'money tree'

'Just six months ago there wasn't enough in the budget for library workers' raises,' says reader Natasha Philpott

BradfordToday and InnisfilToday welcome letters to the editor at [email protected] or via the website. Please include your full name, daytime phone number and address (for verification of authorship, not publication). The following letter is in response to an article, Bradford councillors give themselves a 'fair' 53% pay raisepublished initially on April 17.

It's baffling how just six months ago there wasn't enough in the budget for library workers' raises, but suddenly there's room for a 53 per cent raise for councillors. The blatant hypocrisy is unsettling.

While it's understandable that councillors may seek a raise like any other professional, the timing raises concerns, particularly in the current economic climate and so closely after the handling of the library strike. Taking cues from Aurora's mayor, who vetoed council increases amidst the ongoing financial crisis, might have been a more prudent approach.

Recall Mayor James Leduc's words from BradfordToday during the library strike about the financial implications of the raises:

“Think about what that does over time, how that continually amortizes over time. It’s a huge financial impact to us. ... Like I’ve said to many people, I don’t have a money tree in the backyard. We go to the taxpayer; the taxpayer pays the bill.”

Yet, now, a council pay increase seems feasible. I guess the money tree magically grew? One that doesn’t affect taxpayers?

On Tuesday night, in his rant about council compensation, the mayor asserted, “you need to be compensated fairly, and it starts right here at this table so we can pass those fair compensations on to everybody else in our community.”

Does that mean no one else can receive a raise before him? Is that why he refused the $1.35 for the library workers?

His tantrums during the meeting on Tuesday about his full-time mayor status and a pay raise were reminiscent of a child throwing a fit.

And don’t forget that the mayor and deputy mayor each took home an additional $24,488 and $18,053 respectively for being on county council this year, with the mayor also pocketing another $3,208 for being on the police board.

Let's hope the community remembers this debacle come 2026.

Natasha Philpott