Award is misleading

Municipalities self-report to complete this survey – if they reply to it at all.

Mayor Lois Jackson of Delta is trumpeting loudly that Delta has been named by the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties Vancouver (NAIOP) the “Most Fiscally Responsible” municipality in the Lower Mainland.

The first questions that come to mind are, “What is it for?” and “Who are they (NAIOP)?”

I’ll leave the “who are they” to others, but “they” – and in “their” words (because I inquired directly with NAIOP) – describe how they arrived at their decision:

“Since the year 2000, NAIOP have administered a survey to all 20 municipalities in the Lower Mainland. The survey mimics an actual development application for a hypothetical industrial warehouse and office development.”

Municipalities self-report to complete this survey – if they reply to it at all.

In announcing the “award,” Jackson says that it recognizes the “fact” that Delta has “kept cost increases in line with overall inflation and has managed to limit cost increases over the 10-year time frame of the survey to just over the average rate of inflation.”

This is simply not true. The NAIOP “survey” examines a hypothetical (read: imaginary) situation and reports hypothetical information about a single line item that represents less than one per cent of the total municipal budget – and then it makes the award.

The actual fact is that since 2006, annual expenditures and taxes in Delta have increased at a rate 4.5 times above that of inflation – truly an exorbitant increase. This data derives from the Corporation of Delta’s Annual Reports – freely available for anyone to examine.

Mayor Jackson should well know that what she has loudly proclaimed about this so-called award is not true. After all, she chairs the finance committee. If she does not understand what she is claiming to be talking about, that is real cause for alarm and cause to question her fitness to sit in the mayor’s chair in Delta.

If she does understand what she is saying in this instance – given how her statements are completely misleading – that is further cause for alarm.

You be the judge, and you will be on Nov. 19 if you vote.

Firth Bateman

Surrey North Delta Leader

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