Good day sunshine

James Miller is managing editor of The Kelowna Daily Courier.

It’s something that’s been whispered for years — $75,000 is no longer a lot of money.

Try telling that to the average Canadian who has a median income of $34,204 annually during a time when everything is going up in price — housing, food, energy and city taxes.

Kelowna city councillor Brad Sieben suggested Monday that the Sunshine List — where any civil servant earning more than $75,000 has their name and salary published — should be increased.

The figure has been $75,000 for more than 15 years and when it was raised in the early 2000s it went from $50,000 to $75,000.

Civil servants don’t like the Sunshine List because everyone knows how much they make. However, in the private sector, it’s still possible in many cases to know what your neighbours earn. (In the case of unionized jobs, salaries can often be found online.)

Let’s be honest. There are very few people who pay any attention to civic wages — but it should still be available in the name of transparency.

We’re entitled to know what our politicians make, so why not the top bureaucrats?

At present, the City of Kelowna has 407 of its 888 full-time employees on the Sunshine List. (This does not include RCMP.)

Sieben’s suggestion — which nobody on council supported — is, in our opinion, a ploy to make it appear as though wages aren’t running away at city hall.

If the bar is raised, then fewer people will be on the Sunshine List.

—James Miller

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