ITAC

15 03 2008

 

Click the following to see a table of DWV Operating Cost increases – Copy of ITAC8 annual ops exp (3)

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The current economic situation explained in a single picture

This financial crisis deepens and this is forcing government agencies to make some tough decisions.
If things continue in the same fashion for much longer, there’s a real risk that they may have to lay off Joe

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This graph shows the 2006 expenditures per resident for the 21 Metro-Vancouver municipalities.

 

GVRD Expenditures

To view this graph…click on it, and a larger image will appear.

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7 responses

29 03 2008
Gerry Madden

Our taxes only really started to jump astronomically in the past 5 to 7 years. During that period they have more than doubled! Our population has remained stable, but we have hired many more and much higher paid municipal employees. We have also built huge and ugly new public buildings. It is time to stop the circus, fire some clowns, and get down to the serious business of providing good and cost effective governance. We the taxpayers own and run this district and it is time for us to bring our politicians and public servants under control.

24 04 2008
Anon

Just saw your Muffin Mania graph, hilarious but unfortunately probably representative of the greater concerns expressed in the ITAC Budget submission document elsewhere on the site. Keep up the good work

8 05 2008
Heather

Hi, you may have already done this, but how about looking at growth in population over the last 25 vs. total tax for DWV – I am thinking population has been flat but overall tax revenues have skyrocketed, as has development, but not due to an increase in people

8 05 2008
Garrett

Heather,

Back in 1981 West Van’s population according to Stats Canada (excluding the 4% undercount) was 35,728 and it was 42,131 in 2006, for a growth of 18% in 25 years. The West Van muncipality’s official growth rate projection until 2031 is an average annual growth rate of 0.047% which is lower than in the last 25 years. I wasn’t here in 1981 and in a quick look I’ve not been able to find tax data for that year–we’re talking here about the pre-PC age. But given the combination of official inflation plus the fact that West Van’s tax rate often increased well in excess of the official inflation level (CPI), property taxes have clearly increased at a rate that’s a multiple of our population growth rate. Between 2003 and 2007 (over four years) my taxes went up 12.5%. That’s about 3% per year or 7 times the population increase and included one year (2007) when the District decided to have a near zero tax increase. I’m sure people who have been here longer than I will have skyrocketting numbers.

While our population is almost stagnant, revenues derived from new buildings bring extra money. In fact, our property tax revenue growth exceeds population growth. I think in recent years new development (i.e. additional buildings and the higher value of replacement buildings) add perhaps 1% to the tax revenues–about double the annual population increase–but not enough to cover the added operating expense of the muncipality.

With the normal, albeit small, growth in tax revenues and a more disciplined approach to expenses, it really shouldn’t be that hard to keep expenses down between zero and 2% annually–i.e. at current CPI levels, on a sustainable basis. We’re not talking miracles here–this is eminently doable with no reduction of service to the public.

Regards, Garrett

11 05 2008
Geordie

We need ITAC to put the facts before the taxpayers and try and stop the rot, if its not too late.
Has this council not heard of a PPP partnership.? Lets get out of the “gardening” business and fire 90% of Parks staff.

And how many time have you been to Ambleside , or other park, and seen the big trucks and gatherings of workers (?) pulling weeds or planting bulbs ? All we need is a qualified horticulturist, and a few contract staff and every park could be let out to private contract.

A starting point would be for the Council to split the “Recreation” from Parks & Rec. and show the TRUE cost of this huge Parks department. Get rid of the trucks and bulldozers and lots of weed pullers.

5 06 2008
Mark

I totally agree with Geordie on the need to contract out a lot of the municipal public works and parks dept. jobs.

In doing this the DWV would not have to fund the purchasing and maintenance of all the vehicles and equipment that they have.How many trucks and euipment do we really need. The private sector is rather good at building roads and cutting lawn. No mechanics,no grass cutters, no flag persons,no truck drivers no pensions, no sick days, etc. On rainy days you wouldn’t be paying someone to water the hanging baskets along Marine Dr. (I know someone will respond and say that they do other things on those days but I have seen the watering truck and watering person working the baskets on rainy days!)

There would be a few supervisors that would oversee the contractors and our costs would be much less. If the municipal employees feel so strongly about the parks and public works etc. — then they can bid on the jobs as private contractors like the people who worked for the Dept. of Highways did when it was privatized. It works in other places so it can work here. It won’t be like we are doing away with jobs that our residents do, because I will bet that 90% of our staff do not live or pay taxes in West Vancouver.

The department heads will argue otherwise,they will try and convince the council (so far so good) but it is very self-serving in that they must justify their high salaries because they have large departments to manage. It seems that the only thing these people manage well is their ability to get salary increases and more employees. They should all be told to manage their departments properly and there should be some performance criteria that they have to attain or their employment would be reviewed. The argument that public sector employees are different that private sector is BS. They have had an easy ride so far…. time for some change.

I have laid this out in simplistic terms but trust me it is very easy to do — all it takes is the will to change.

I hope that the voters of DWV tell the council to get their collective heads out of the sand and realize that there has to be a change. A MAJOR CHANGE in how the business of the municipality is done.

15 10 2011
Ken

One issue I have is the “tarting up” of the roads at great expense. The curb bulges are bad enough, but the slalom course of 21st Street is unexplicable to me, especially with sidewalks on both sides. I have not noticed a lot of pedestrian traffic there in the last 38 years!

Ken

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