EDITORIAL: High cost of parting ways

Former CAO’s severance package, retirement allowance and owed holiday pay cost the district, and therefore the taxpayers, close to $389,000.

The District of Mission paid a hefty sum to part ways with chief administrative officer Ken Bjorgaard.

The former CAO’s severance package, retirement allowance and owed holiday pay cost the district, and therefore the taxpayers, close to $389,000.

It’s the kind of “golden parachute” you normally see when a major corporation drops a CEO.

Asked about the large payment, Mission Mayor Randy Hawes noted that most city CAO contracts call for such payouts. We wonder why. Big businesses guaranteeing large severance packages is one issue, but why do municipalities feel the need to offer such lucrative benefits?

When it is taxpayers footing the bill, are these kinds of contracts, guaranteeing huge compensation, appropriate?

The “all contracts are like that” explanation doesn’t justify spending close to $400,000 to make a change in personnel.

With the current economic climate, local governments have to start thinking differently.

Is it really true that in order to get good people, lavish compensation must be put on the table? Or is that just how it’s always been done?

Governments are not private businesses and shouldn’t be run in the same manner. Surely, talented individuals are available for well-paid public jobs without taxpayers footing the bill to reflect every perk of corporate culture.

 

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