6 Thorold Niagara News * Wednesday, January 26, 2011

opinion page


Thorold Niagara News

www.thoroldedition.com 17 Queen Street * St. Catharines, Ontario L2R 5G5 * 905-688-4332 * Fax 905-688-6313 TIM DUNDAS, Publisher 905-357-2440 ext. 304 tdundas@niagaracommunitynewspapers.com TOM WILKINSON, Editor 905-688-4332 newsroom@thoroldedition.com JAMIE MOWAT, Sales Manager 905-688-4332 ext. 29 jmowat@stcatharinesshoppingnews.com

our editorial

City tests snow removal

The City of Thorold has decided to start a pilot project removing snow from a core radius within downtown. Councillor Shawn Wilson has made good on his campaign promise to remove snow from city sidewalks. This project hasn't even begun and detractors have come out in full force to deride it. As Mayor Luciani has pointed out, it's just a pilot project and the city is merely testing the waters. Yet, the project has provoked the ire of some councillors because it is a service that cannot be provided for all residents of Thorold yet all taxpayers will be on the hook for it. Such as life. It seems there is always some sort of tax that one must pay Recently, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu posted an image of his pay stub on Facebook. Politicians in Israel are contemplating pay raises and Netanyahu wanted people to see exactly how much he makes. His gross pay appears to be the equivalent of about $12,000 or $13,000 per month. Sounds like a lot, doesn't it? But the bottom line, which is the spot all of us are most concerned with, showed that he took home the equivalent of approximately $4,200 per month. He even has to pay for his own armoured car, which accounts for about $3,200 per month. If more bigwig politicians had to pay for their own security, perhaps it would make them more responsive to the people. The item drew my attention because I have been trying to get Niagara Region food banks to release the salaries paid to their employees - particularly to their managers. Governments are required, by law, to publish the salaries of anyone even though not all services are of equal use. Tax paying dollars help maintain parks and public pools, but not all citizens are park goers and swimmers. Taxes fund schools, but not all couples have children. The City of Thorold has taken an initiative to help citizens in the higher foot traffic areas. Being a part of a good community should mean that its residents care for it as a whole and not only when it is a direct benefit. Perhaps the project can be safe from disparagement until it has failed - for now, give it a shot. Daniela Piteo making more than $100, 000 per year. Charities are not, though some politicians have been trying to change that. Municipalities won't tell you the salaries of employees earning less than $100K, but they will usually tell you the pay range for positions it hires. That's fine too. The Open Arms Mission in Welland had an annual payroll of $254,741 in 2009. While executive director Jerry Vanderklok did not want to release specific pay scales, he said that the payroll covered salaries of five full-time and four part-time people. You can do the math on that. Doesn't sound like anyone's making too much


by Skip Gillham Former tugboat is scuttled at Hanover Inlet.


The former tug SEA TRACTOR II was scuttled as an artificial reef off Hanover Inlet, Miami, Florida, on September 8, 2010. The ship had last sailed as SHARK and had left the Great Lakes as SEA TRAC- TOR II in 1999. It was built at New Orleans as MESSENGER in 1951 and came to the Great Lakes, via the Mississippi in 1984. It there. Betty-Lou Souter, the CEO of Community Care of St. Catharines and Thorold told me their 2009 payroll amount covered about 35 full and part-time employees, and includes benefit costs. She also said that nobody on staff, including herself, makes $100,000 per year or more. On their 2009 tax return, they listed $984,739 for compensation and a further $28,941 for consulting and professional fees. In the same year, the organization took in $1,056,920 in gifts for which they issued a tax receipt. They also received hundreds of thousands of dollars from government and other charitable organizations. She wants to assure readers that salaries do not come from donations, but from other funding sources the organization uses. Make no mistake - people should be paid what they're worth. I just believe that the law that requires making government salaries over $100,000 public is a good one, and charities should follow it as well. People should know how their contributions are being used. I am going to write about the other food banks I've contacted in the coming weeks and let you know how they've responded to operated inland as PATRICIA HOEY to 1990 and then as NEW HAMPSHIRE of Great Lakes Towing before becoming SEA TRACTOR II in 1998. Photo: Oswego, NY on June 19, 1999 - Dan McCormick

Charities need to be more open about salaries

Tom Wilkinson Write Here requests. At the very least, it would be nice to see charities publish the salaries of those making more than $100,000 per year. That would voluntarily put them in line with what government is already doing. Kudos to Betty-Lou Souter and Jerry Vanderklok for being open with information about their organizations. I am a big believer in openness for both government and organizations that are looking for financial support from the public. You can leave feedback for Tom at twilkinson@westniagaranews.com

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