EDITORIAL: Investigate district staffing issues

Contrast of opinions on these serious concerns is worrisome

Over the past two and a half years, nine senior managers have left the District of Mission.

Their departures were part of numerous staff exits between 2012 and this March – 34 full-time employees left their positions, and 13 retired. By comparison, similar-sized community Port Moody saw four senior managers depart, and Vernon lost only one.

Couns. Jeff Jewell and Tony Luck are concerned about the loss of employees. Jewell calls it “excessive,” and Luck labels it “abnormal.”

This week, Coun. Nelson Tilbury raised the possibility that the departures of senior staff – particularly in the engineering department – could slow the district’s ability to do business. Tilbury also maintains bullying and berating by council caused some of the departures. He also cites micromanaging by the district’s chief administration officer (CAO).

Yet Coun. Dave Hensman calls it a “weird fantasy” that there are more staff leaving the District of Mission, and says council was not bullying, just holding staff accountable.

Mayor Ted Adlem stands by the district CAO, and maintains that some people don’t like change, and it’s better they leave the organization.

The contrast of opinions on these serious concerns is stark, and worrisome.

An examination and evaluation by an external agency of staffing issues and operational capabilities at the District of Mission is in order.