November 9, 2011
[Editor's note: Given the outstanding issues that have dominated the local media over the past year regarding the city's spending habits the Sentinel finds it rather refreshing and promising to see one of the mayoral candidates in this upcoming civic election actually willing to commit to Quesnel taxpayers that they would hold themselves accountable on all levels to those who pay the bills.]
City of Quesnel mayoral candidate Ron Paull believes he is the only Quesnel candidate to join 86 other BC mayoral and councillor candidates to sign the Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation’s Contract With Taxpayers, which calls for limiting property tax increases to the rate of inflation, expanding direct democracy at city halls and supporting transparency initiatives like publishing expenses and submitting to a Municipal Auditor General. It also asks for the introduction of a Taxpayer Protection Bylaw, which would put these rules into municipal law—and dock 15% of the pay of mayors and councillors who raised taxes beyond inflation.
The contract reads as follows:
  • If elected as a mayor or councillor on November 19, I pledge to uphold these principles:
  • I will not vote to raise property taxes beyond the provincial rate of inflation (unless I get approval from taxpayers in a referendum)—and will diligently try to get increases lower than that. 
  • I will move our municipality toward fee for service for as many functions as possible.
  • Under my watch, citizens will receive complete, accurate and timely information from their municipal government. I will ensure taxpayers have the opportunity to participate in open dialogue with the mayor and council, voicing their opinions on any matter affecting the municipality.
  • I will publicly disclose and publish copies of all receipts I charge to my municipal expense account.
  • I will support measures that improve transparency and accountability, such as a Municipal Auditor General, introduction of municipal politician recall rules, and the use of referenda, plebiscites and citizen initiatives to gauge public opinion on major expenditures and issues.
  • I will support the introduction of a Taxpayer Protection Bylaw (similar to the one attached) that financially punishes any mayor and council for raising taxes above the rate of inflation with a one-year, 15% pay cut.

    The full list of other candidates who have signed on to the pledge can be found on the Canadian Taxpayers’ Federations website at www.taxpayer.com.