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Letter to the Editor: To all City of Moose Jaw property owners and taxpayers

A letter to the editor from A. King
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To All City of Moose Jaw Property Owners and Taxpayers:
You may or may not be aware that approximately 40 City of Moose Jaw employees have cost the taxpayers over $250,000, a cost that is rising daily as long as COVID-19 is with us.

Let me explain. CERB (Federal government benefit) pays workers who lost their jobs because of the pandemic. However, the City of Moose Jaw chose to reassign those 40 city workers with full salary and benefits rather than take advantage of CERB and hire summer students who needed the work. Students who would receive a much lower hourly wage. 

The city lost the opportunity to benefit from the CERB subsidy and consequently, the taxpayer bears the brunt of that decision.  

The problem this created is more than the dollars. A city administrative employee commented at City Council on August10, 2020, “Grass cutting and trimming is below past standards due to staff retraining and safety instruction.” 

Therefore, the city paid premium salaries that cost many more dollars than hiring summer students. On top of that, this decision had inadequate and often poor results.

The question was asked of councilors Ebby, McMann and Swanson, ”Who is running the city concerning this reassignment?”

They were unanimous that this was not voted on by council.

In these terrible economic times it is unconscionable not to access federal monies and to draw on municipal tax dollars instead and, might I add, with less than satisfactory results!
For Example:

Summer students earn $17.00 to $18.00/hour
Reassigned staff earn $26.00 to $32.00/hour

The cost differential per day is about $6,000.

Final cost amounts to 40 employees times $6,000 which equals $240,000 per 100 days of COVID reassignment.

In closing, I am glad I am three score and ten and can leave the bill for the next generation.
A. King

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the position of this publication.  


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