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Bateman comes back to Township council

Jordan Bateman - Langley Times file photo
Jordan Bateman
— image credit: Langley Times file photo

Jordan Bateman is coming back to Township council.

This time, however, the former councillor will be facing politicians, rather that sitting among them.

Bateman has been invited to speak to council in his capacity as B.C. communications director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

He will be asked to comment on the CTF’s Contract with Taxpayers, a pledge which candidates in B.C.’s civic election were invited to sign in time for the civic election last November.

The pledge includes support for a Taxpayer Protection Bylaw which punishes any mayor and council for raising taxes above the rate of inflation. If they fail to do this, they are punished with a 15 per cent pay cut for one year.

Among the pledges:

* I will not vote to raise property taxes beyond the provincial rate of inflation (unless I get approval from taxpayers in a referendum)—and will diligently try to get increases lower than that;

* I will move our municipality toward fee for service for as many functions as possible;

* I will not vote to take on or fund services that are the proper jurisdiction of federal, provincial or regional governments;

* I will push my municipality to investigate partnerships with other governments, non-profit organizations and businesses to reduce costs of service delivery;

* Infrastructure and public safety will be my top budgetary priorities;

* Taxpayers’ personal property rights will be respected and upheld;

* Under my watch, citizens will receive complete, accurate and timely information from their municipal government. I will ensure taxpayers have the opportunity to participate in open dialogue with the mayor and council, voicing their opinions on any matter affecting the municipality;

* I will publicly disclose and publish copies of all receipts I charge to my municipal expense account; and

* I will support measures that improve transparency and accountability, such as a Municipal Auditor General, introduction of municipal politician recall rules, and the use of referenda, plebiscites and citizen initiatives to gauge public opinion on major expenditures and issues.

Also in time for last year’s civic election, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business came up with a pledge to taxpayers which 50 candidates signed:

1) Property Tax Fairness — by committing to reduce the gap between what commercial property and residential property owners pay in each year of their term;

2) Reasonable Spending — by committing to keep operating spending increases reasonable, i.e. at or below the level of population growth and inflation or the rate of growth in disposable income; and

3) Openness and Accountability — by supporting in principle, the creation of a Municipal Auditor General for B.C., to perform value-for-dollar audits.

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