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Additional staff for Gibsons town hall debated

Additional staff for Gibsons town hall debated

The addition of one new position in Gibsons Corporate Services department being proposed in the Towns 2021 budget was endorsed at the committee level on March 9. If approved in the final budget, hiring is not anticipated until August. The tax impact this year would be about $37,000. As of 2022, the full-time position is estimated to cost just over $90,000 a year.

In debating the potential increase to staff levels, the committee considered a report from Director of Finance Lorraine Coughlin. It stated that a new manager of corporate services position would improve both operational effectiveness and role structure. Currently, the Town’s director of corporate services is responsible for work that falls within a legislative scope, general office management and information technology (IT) support. That position supervises 11 staff members working in a range of functions.

The proposed new position would take on the office management responsibilities. This would allow the director to focus on the legislative, strategic direction, IT services, and policy and procedural realms.

Committee members questioned whether the work demands being placed on the director could be best addressed by hiring or contracting out. Acknowledging that “efficiency is being lost with other tasks being added on,” Councillor David Croal asked whether more contracting, especially for IT services, may be “a wiser use” of the Town’s money. Croal also stated that work overload can be a major contributor to staff burnout and

A committee recommendation to include the new hiring in the draft 2021 budget passed with Croal, Councillor Aleria Ladwig and Mayor Bill Beamish in support. Councillors Stafford Lumley and Annemarie De Andrade voted in opposition. De Andrade then moved, and the committee supported a recommendation that staff provide a report on conducting an organizational performance review which includes a comparative analysis of other municipalities.

Both recommendations go to council for consideration on March 16. If included in the 2021 final budget, spending on the new position will equate to about a one percent property tax increase in 2021. 

Connie Jordison

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