City hall's got priorities wrong

The level of frustration many people in Prince George have regarding the financial situation here is not shared by all and a closer look as to why is very illuminating.

Several of the city's largest employers, like Northern Health and the City of Prince George, have made out of town recruitment their priority. Despite the city having one of four research universities in the province, there seems to be a need to hire only from outside the city and, in doing so, create a sellers market for these so-called professionals by having them dictate their wages. This policy also seems to be in place for hiring firms in other areas, from construction to consultants. This has to stop.

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Mr. Godbout's Friday editorial on the disgraceful wage increases for city manager Kathleen Soltis on the back of a massive property tax hike for residents and the ridiculous request for a $32 million dollar loan, an aspect of the construction project referendum not disclosed, shows just how cynical this administration seems to be. There seems to be a disconnect between what our elected city council try to do and the end result once it goes through the labyrinth that is city hall. It is of no surprise that some, yes, some of us are angry. Why only some?

Despite attracting new shops and all of the new home construction in place, we have forgotten that our population has decreased, the population of people living under social assistance has increased and the number of high-paid transient workers, cutting their teeth in their respective careers, leave after a few years. Result? Lower tax revenues. Remember all of those out-of-town recruiting policies? People are not staying here long term.

Previous city administrations travelled continually to China, our last premier ignored the rules of the Annual Allowable Cut and now we ship almost all of our raw logs to China. We are on the cusp of losing the last of our sawmills and seriously impacting the area's workforce and their incomes, thus destroying our local economy. Exactly what did these meetings in China accomplish?

I moved to Prince George in 1974. I love P.G., my house, the people, however, the decline here and the Soltis wage increase makes me nauseous. When I'm done my degree, I will take it elsewhere. P.G. obviously doesn't want me.

By the way, affordable? My fellow students can't afford $1,400/month. When did this happen?

Mike Maslen, Prince George

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