Council approved a property tax increase of 5.68 per cent at last night’s meeting.
“Keeping this community safe should be our No. 1 priority,” said Coun. Bill McNulty, who was in favour of the increase.
A main point of contention in the increase is the hiring of 16 RCMP officers and 11 municipal employees, amounting to a 1.24 per cent increase.
However, Coun. Chak Au was not in favour of the “historical” increase, saying he would not approve growth of more than five per cent. He added that Richmond is not the worst city in the region in terms of police officer to population ratio, with 666 residents per officer. In comparison, Surrey has 692 residents per officer, Burnaby 799, and Coquitlam 829.
“We’ve been playing catch-up, we had a very low ratio of police to our population,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “I hear so many people talking about being in favour of community safety and how we really have to be safe as a community. What is more fundamental than having police officers?”
Hannah Scott, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Richmond Sentinel