Council agrees in principle to pair of new hires

Managers of asset/infrastructure and citizen engagement/corporate initiatives may be created by end of year

Mission council has agreed in principle to hire a manager of asset/infrastructure, and one for citizen engagement and corporate initiatives.

The group unanimously supported both positions, but not without debate on the latter position.

Councillors Tony Luck and Dave Hensman needed some convincing to support the recommendations which came out of the core services review because their party, CRMG, campaigned against such a position. Hensman believes the current council has already improved communication with the public.

“I’m very skeptical of governments having to hire someone to communicate their message,” said Luck. “We ran on a promise of not having a spin doctor, but at the same time, I can appreciate the benefits of having someone like this.”

Coun. Jenny Stevens, who sat on the last council, explained the current position being proposed is much broader and will benefit the district.

“It’s not the ‘spin doctor,'” said Stevens, explaining the last council hired a communications officer because it was getting bad press and wanted to put out good stories. “I sat at this table last year and ranted against a spin doctor.”

Mayor Ted Adlem agreed and noted the job description is not fully finished.

“I work with senior staff every day and I know senior staff struggle to get the message out. They’re not trained and are rather overwhelmed [with their work].”

Communication is a two-way street, said Coun. Jeff Jewell.

“The public doesn’t have a clear idea what council is doing and we don’t have a clear idea what the public wants. If we don’t do this, the gap will remain.”

After being on council for nearly a year, we can’t survive without it, added Coun. Larry Nundal.

“We need it internally too, not just external.”

The manager of citizen engagement and corporate initiatives would lead consultations with stakeholders and the public as well as provide information. The budgetary impact is estimated to be between $75,000 (based on an annual salary of $60,000) and $90,000 (based on an annual salary of $75,000).

A manager of asset/infrastructure would be proactive in terms of asset/infrastructure planning, including the rehabilitation, replacement and maintenance of roads, water and sewer systems, facilities and other district assets.

The book value of Mission’s infrastructure is about $1 billion, added Jewell, but it’s not being managed, except in crisis mode.

This position would require funds estimated between $98,000 (based on an annual salary of $80,000) and $123,000 (based on an annual salary of $100,000).

The positions and costs won’t be finalized until the budget is complete in November, but Hensman suggested following the province’s example and decrease the starting wages by 10 per cent.

Coun. Nelson Tilbury suggested offering the lower wage and increase it if it doesn’t attract the right person.

“It’s easy to move up,” said Hensman. “If you start lower, you have room to negotiate.”

The two positions, if approved at the end of the budget process, will be advertised in December.

Just Posted

Fraser Health asking taxpayers for millions more in health care capital funding

Health authority wants Fraser Valley taxpayers to triple annual contribution to $5.75 million

UPDATE: Rockslide keeps Coquihalla northbound lane closed

Highway 5 is closed in one direction.

Downtown Mission: Ready to revitalize

With the bidding process underway, construction could start by mid-March

UPDATE: Wind warning ends for Metro Vancouver after thousands lose power

More than 34,000 BC Hydro customers in the dark on Sunday morning in the Lower Mainland and Sunshine Coast

Guilty plea issued in case where man, 86, was assaulted and robbed

Hughie Stump pleads guilty to break-and-enter in relation to Abbotsford incident

VIDEO: Mission City Indoor Farmers Market returns

Market kicks off 2018 schedule on Saturday

Cougar window shops at Banff grocery store

An RCMP officer spots a cougar outside an Alberta grocery store

Chilliwack’s David Lee Roth wannabe denied bail on underage sex crime charges

Unusual history of David Kuntz-Angel includes being known for impersonating the rock star

Police fear fewer fentanyl imports don’t signal the end of the overdose crisis

RCMP say it’s just as likely that criminal are getting more clever

UPDATE: Two people die in ATV accident south of Campbell River

Third person survived attempt to cross a creek

Justice group, fellow trustee, defending B.C. school trustee

Chilliwack school trustee facing increasing pressure to resign over LGBTQ beliefs

Giants, Rivermen on the NHL radar

Vancouver leads all WHL teams with five players on NHL Central Scouting list

Coal dust escaping rail cars spurs B.C. petition

Local governments are on board with Shuswap resident’s request for better control of escaping particulate

Lawyers slam ‘de facto expulsion’ of student guilty of sexual interference

Calgary student guilty of sexual assault of a minor allowed to finish semester

Most Read