Prince Rupert Municipal Extravagance

Looks like Shaun’s article in the Nov. 11th,2009 Northern View supports my previous postings about how extravagant this city is when it comes to spending taxpayer’s money. Per Capita Spending in PR is $1,846 compared to our friends up the hwy in Terrace who spend $1,104 per capita.

For those that are concerned that our tax rates are amongst the highest in the province and serve as a disincentive to businesses wishing to come to Rupert, the full report makes for interesting reading and may be read at;

This report makes the following observations.

“The biggest cost drivers of municipalities are municipal wages and benefits.  According to the UBCM, 60 per cent of a typical municipal budget goes to salaries.”

“It is interesting to note that municipalities with relatively low per capita spending, such as Surrey, Abbotsford, and North Cowichan, have fewer total employees per 1,000 population. Correspondingly, West Vancouver, Whistler, and Prince Rupert have higher than average per capita spending and a relatively high number of total employees.”

It also poses the following question on page 20 of their report.

Why does Prince Rupert need 15 permanent employees  per 1,000 population but Kelowna needs only 6?

Perhaps our Mayor or councillors would care to take a stab at answering this basic question. Jack, Kathy, Nelson, Joy, Sheila, Anna, Gina?

actually the podunk site on this forum had that story last week

Guess I missed it. Oh well move on to the next story and keep paying our taxes like good lil sheep.

Well. some of us missed it and worth re-reading anyway…Very Interesting to say the least… :imp:

We need more city officials per capita than Kelowna?  :astonished:  :unamused: Another strike against Rupertites.

This is madness! Sparta

Terrace makes for an interesting comparison, considering that like this place it has lost major industries in recent years.

The City of Terrace spend $7,399,784 on wages and benefits according to its 2008 Annual Report. The City of Prince Rupert spent $11,111,174. The study noted above and in A Town Called Podunk cites a Prince Rupert population of 13,435 while Terrace had 11,911. So a city with 89% of the population, spent 67% as much on civic wages and benefits as this place. 

The City of Prince Rupert does not seem to report wages and benefits as a separate line item in their Annual Report and audited statements, but information can be found in the agenda package for the June 8, 2009 meeting at page 42: … Agenda.pdf

An overview of civic payrolls greater than $75,000 a year is provided. The Financial Information Act requires that this and other information of note including council member remuneration and expenses be prepared each year and be made available to the public. This information is not shown on the “Cityhall Financials Dedicated Page” on the City web site, although financial information that is required by law would seem to be of interest one would think.

The June 8 meeting is in itself a bit of a story. A regular meeting was not originally scheduled for that date. The council members and others were to take a brief break from their labours. But a special meeting was convened at the eleventh hour and the above information was included in the package for those who wished to dig for it. I’m not sure if the press corps took note of it.

I had a giant belly laugh over that one, Creaking Door!  “The Council members and others were to take a brief break from their labours”  LMAO  What labours might that be?

would all these stats include our CityWest employees?  Terrace doesn’t have city employed phone people, do they?  Can someone clarify???  If all those that work for the phone department were excluded would our city employees be closer in number to that of our neighbor?

i think your onto something. plus our citys employees at our new city owned pulp mill :smiley:

So we all agree, let us cut the fire department.  Or have I misread the tones on this thread.

Terrace also contracts out a few of their Municipal services which could account for some of the difference.  :neutral_face:

That is a good question and one that the civic leaders would be in a better position to answer, but by my reading of the financial statements I don’t think that the $11,111,174 includes Citywest employees. The information is from 2008, so the cost of having City employees at the pulp mill would not have arisen.

The 2008 Citywest statements (Note 2) says that “former City Tel employees are currently on secondment to City West Cable & Telephone” … “which has agreed to honour the employee benefit plans and union contracts that existed under the City”. They are now “former City Tel employees”.

The note goes on to say that their earnings are reported under City Tel’s CRA number, but that does not mean that the City is actually paying the wages. If the City was paying the wages, one would expect that Related Party Transactions (Note 9) would show a reimbursement to the City; but no such number appears.

Employees of Cable Prince Rupert and Cable North (Citywest subsidiaries) would not be included in the City’s payroll because Citywest entered the cable business after it became a separate company.

Perhaps most telling, though, is the list of City employees making over $75,000 a year, as shown on page 42 of the link: … Agenda.pdf

If some or all of the Citywest payroll was included in the City’s “Schedule of Employee Remuneration and Expenses”, one would expect to see at least a few Citywest employees on the higher income list. Do you see any Citywest employees listed there?

I don’t think the fire department should be cut. I’ve never understood the Mayor’s comments about selling fire fighting equipment etc. There are too many fire traps in this town to be doing that.

Well, they must be doing something at all those closed door meetings besides eating supper.

Like, oh, let’s see…Belching and patting each other on the back ?  :smiley:

First of all did City West not go private last year or the year before? If so why do people call them city staff and if they are city staff then it would make for a hell of alot of salary.

Second I hope the f&*k they get these streets clean by morning maybe the council members can get out and help them well Nelson, Jacko, Michael Curnes, Gordie and the rest who sit around trying to look impotent.

That’s funny…Visual of them with shovels…Too Funny…!!!  Although they should be very familiar with a shovel, they’re either digging a VERY large hole or shovelling shit !! (I will remove Nelson from this post though as I respect him!)

Well it certainly wasn’t my intention to point fingers at any one department or service the city is providing. Rather the evidence points to the fact that many other municipalities are providing services at less expense than our friends on Third Avenue. If others can do it, why can’t we?

It’s been proven time and time again that high taxes are a deterrent to business and the employment they provide. Certainly in an area of high unemployment, our politicos should be concerned with making Rupert as competitive as it can be. Regrettably, their response to unemployment rates in our region appears to be to hire as many as they can and invest in dying businesses such as CityWest / Skeena Cablevision.

The reason I chimed in with this info is to see if any of our elected leaders have the gumption to take a stab at explaining to the electorate why our municipality leads the province in residential and business taxes and has the need for such high levels of staffing.  Jack? Kathy? Nelson? Joy? Sheila? Ana? Gina?

In light of recent Citywest decisions, I doubt anyone at City Hall knows how to use the internet, or what it’s all about. The only way any councillor is going to read this thread is if eccentric prints it out and gives it to his mother.

While there are some that sit on the council that may be challenged when it comes to technology, certainly we saw prior to the last election several that were quite vocal on this board. I have no doubt that this thread has been viewed by most of the council if not all and they simply do not have any reasonable explanations to provide.

I think it was brought up earlier in this thread that City West employees are probably included in the “count”. Other jurisdictions do not have their own telephone/cable employees. That probably accounts for the numbers.