There has been a major policy shift at municipal hall that is going to cost taxpayers a lot of money. It has happened with no public discussion that I am aware of, and runs completely counter to common sense, not to mention past performance. The District is firing private sector service contractors and replacing them with union staff positions on the pretense that it will save money.
Fiscal Sustainability. Check.
Excellence in Management and Governance. Check.
Enhancement in Community Livability. Check.
Orwellian Doublespeak. Check.
This is nothing more than bureaucratic empire building at the expense of the taxpayer, and the entire council (with the apparent exception of Councillor Pearson) seem to be enjoying a warm and fuzzy group hug while it goes on. In the paraphrased words of various Councillors at the May 9 meeting, “we trust our senior staff.”
“Trusting” is a complete repudiation of the job council was elected for. It certainly shouldn’t, and doesn’t have to be hostile and antagonistic divisiveness, but council’s job is skeptical and critical oversight on behalf of the taxpayer; confrontation of vested interests backed up by firing people when necessary. This is no ‘temporary trial.’ Once a union position is established, the union will put the taxpayers on their knees before it will allow it to be rolled back.
The first casualty of the boat launch contract is a full time student summer job position for July and August. My meeting with our new CAO, initiated by me and intended to be a private meeting to get acquainted, resulted in my being ambushed by the very staff member responsible for the cost overrun in the boat launch contract, and concluded with the CAO declaring “the decision is not up to council,” dismissing the discussion as “way too operational,” and walking out of the meeting.
How much more do union staff make than employees of the private contractors to do the exact same job? Do the contractors get paid as much as senior staff to manage their employees?