Support an Independent Municipal Auditor
Dear STEPUP Supporter,
City Hall politicians and bureaucrats are out of touch with the hearts and minds and wallets of City residents. Our sidewalks, sewers, streets, and parks are deteriorating while our taxes and city spending rise at an unsustainable pace, far beyond average wage increases and inflation rates. Where have the politicians and bureaucrats at City Hall gone wrong?
- Labour costs: which have grown 21% faster than inflation over the past decade.
- Scope creep: Mayor & Council have neglected civic essentials while funding a labyrinth of politically motivated projects beyond core services, such as filing costly pipeline legal challenges.
- Zero accountability: A culture of excessive spending with no real oversight until voting day.
Thankfully, Councillor Colleen Hardwick (NPA) shares our concerns about staggering property tax increases. She’s working with some councillors to establish an independent, external auditor general focused on the City of Vancouver’s bloated $2 billion budget. We’re asking StepUp supporters to speak up before the next city meeting on this topic July 22nd.
Insist the auditor’s office has a clear terms of reference with independent authority, including a fraud/waste reporting mechanism.
This effort is a small, but important step to help bring accountability to City Hall. For example, the City of Toronto’s Auditor General identified $35 million in savings in 2018 through its recommendations, a “return of $11.7 for every dollar invested in our office.”
Insist on more cost efficiencies and a retreat from reckless spending on priorities outside traditional civic mandates.
As former Mayor of Vancouver and BC Premier (NDP) Mike Harcourt said in the Vancouver Sun: “The property tax most Canadian cities rely on for 75 per cent of their revenues was designed to pay for basic municipal services like police and fire protection, sewer, water, garbage pickup, streets, sidewalks and lighting, parks and recreation, and libraries. It’s not designed for the billions needed to finance affordable housing, transportation infrastructure, post-secondary skills training, and education.”
WAYS YOU CAN GET INVOLVED:
Please let Council know before July 20th that you support an Independent Auditor General seeking budget efficiencies and a return to basic/core municipal services. You must use the City’s webform below to have your comments counted.https://vancouver.ca/your-government/contact-council.aspx. If you can, please also forward a copy of your comments to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Register to Speak a minimum of one hour before the 9:30am July 22 Standing Committee on Policy and Strategic Priorities Committee Meeting. Select Agenda ITEM 3 “Report Back on Establishing Office of the Municipal Auditor General for the City of Vancouver”. https://vancouver.ca/your-government/request-to-speak-at-meeting-form-2.aspx
- Please speak up to local media outlets and post your concerns/comments about how the rising tax burden impacts you on the City’s Social Media pages.
- Share this email widely with your networks and signup on the StepUp website for future updates. A financial contribution is also welcomed.
Thank you for all that you do.