You need empathy for taxpayers, those unflappable humanoids who are normally calm, stoic, even wiry and immune to any privation.
Especially now during a municipal election, when it’s your time to ask local municipal candidates pointed questions:
How do you see controlling tax increases in the future considering the high inflation?
Do you plan to share more services with other neighbouring municipalities?
Do you live in the municipality where you are seeking office?
Will you hold the line on tax increases or support ‘zero-based budgeting’? Or change the budget process to allow more scrutiny of departments and services?
What steps will you take to streamline municipal regulations and taxes to ensure a greater supply and reduced cost of housing?
Do you plan to reduce or limit increasing staff costs?
Do you represent your supporters or the entire community?
Have you read the recent and damning independent report on Victoria council, the Governance Review Report by business consultants MNP? Do you support its 30 recommendations, many of which are applicable to other jurisdictions in the region?
Without question though, this will be a transformative municipal election Oct. 15
Taxpayers, some more gaunt and florid-faced than others, are about to choose 93 municipal politicians who will spend billions of dollars during the next four years.
Most municipal voters will enter the booth with many issues on their minds, especially the cost-of-living crisis.
They want to know now how local politicians – it’s the most over-governed region in Canada – will deliver quality core services without emptying their wallets.
You are owed straight answers.
Stan Bartlett, vice-chair
Grumpy Taxpayer$ of Greater Victoria