Mission reveals its new communications officer

The district had announced in June that it decided to hire a communications specialist to help get its message out and connect with the public.

Mission’s new communications officer starts work today, filling a perceived need by district council in consulting and answering questions from media and the general public.

In a press release from the district, former District of Maple Ridge mayor Kathy Morse will be tasked with the creation and implementation of a communication strategy that will coordinate information from all levels of municipal government to provide feedback for the public.

Kathy Morse, communications officer for the District of Mission

“The purpose of this position is to meet the community’s expectation of regular and timely information and to initiate best practices to advance the use of social media as a two-way communication tool for the district,” reads the press release.

Morse was a broadcaster with CKNW for 14 years before becoming a councillor and then mayor in Maple Ridge. In 2005 she founded her company Communication West in Maple Ridge, providing communication strategies for companies.

Her current contract with the district is a six-month term and renewal will likely depend upon the decision of the future council after the November elections.

That could be problematic if a majority of the members of the new Citizens for Responsible Municipal Goverment (CRMG) team get elected, a slate of seven candidates including incumbent Coun. Jenny Stevens.

In an announcement of their candidacy on Friday, CRMG refers to the hiring of a communications officer as a “spin doctor”, which they believe was done solely to improve council’s image with the public.

“The timing made it clear that this was a transparent attempt by the current council to get the taxpayers to fund their re-election campaign,” reads the CRMG literature, which adds the position would be immediately terminated if elected.