Timing of Richard Marz's resignation as MLA 'intriguing'

Wednesday, Apr 04, 2012 06:00 am

Richard Marz was a congenial MLA and a good man at heart; early on he was quick to respond to a couple of letters I sent him.

The last letter I sent was over a year ago regarding the contentious land bills, 19, 24, 36, and 50. He never responded to the letter. I was inquiring as to how he had voted on the bills and if he had read them before voting.

One of the more sinister aspects of these bills is the government’s right to access and or confiscate private land without compensation while denying access to the courts to challenge their authority to do so.

As one journalist stated; these bills are the most intrusive of any legislation introduced in the last century by any democratic government.

In Mr. Marz’s defense I do understand that the MLA’s votes are controlled by the PC Party and that he could not have voted for the wishes of his constituents if he wanted to, which begs the question what is the purpose of an MLA and how democratic is this process?

Regarding his party, they heard very clearly at all 10 of the Property Rights Task Force meetings held across the province that the citizens’ foremost concern was that these four land bills be repealed. They responded by providing a property rights advocate, who will not have the authority to challenge these bills.

It is intriguing that Richard Marz is stepping down with only a month to go in his term. One of the reasons he gave, was to save the taxpayers the cost of keeping him in office after the writ was dropped, very thoughtful.

He did not though, mention the fact that he quit at the end of a caucus meeting dealing with whether or not the MLAs should return the money they received for sitting on the “do nothing committee” - the Standing Committee on Privileges and Elections, Standing Orders and Printing.

Mr. Marz sat on this committee and has never expressed any intent to return the money. Could this be the reason for his early exit?

Quoting Mr. Marz from the Mountain View Gazette when announcing his early retirement; “There’s been a lot of controversy about MLAs being paid for nothing. If I’m not going to be doing anything, I don’t expect to be paid for it.” How ironic - is he referring to sitting on the “do nothing committee” where he sat for years, or his noble gesture of leaving early to save us one month’s salary?

If you’ve chosen public office and want to be perceived in the best light, surely you would conduct yourself accordingly so as to leave little room for reproach.

This party though has not hidden the fact that they are very self serving when it comes to personal compensation. I admit it would be difficult as an individual MLA to stand against this trend. You are essentially forced to either compromise your integrity or quit, but your own ethics should make that choice for you.

Richard Marz will be leaving with a ‘transition allowance’ of $544,000 to help ease his way back into private life while Ken Kowalski who instigated these exorbitant retirement compensation packages will be leaving with $1.2 million in transition allowance, $97,975 in RRSP contributions, $54,000 in annual MLA pension plus the additional $164,750 he’s received because of committee pay increases over the last 4 years. This is the reward they have bestowed upon themselves while leaving the job of guarding our democratic rights unattended.

Dan Siemens

Mountain View County


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