Open letter to Lake Country residents:
You may have recently read another feeble explanation from the District of Lake Country—this time from Councillor Dickie—trying to convince us that it makes sense to waste $1 million on consultants reports, legal fees and severance packages. [Councillor’s Report: District Administration Suffered From Over-staffing and Under-utilization, Aug. 13 Lake Country Calendar.]
Their restructure plan that Councillor Dickie supported, (and I use the word “plan” loosely) is short on data and prudent justification for the costly changes that we, the taxpayer, must now fund. He also failed to mention that the consultant had a conflict of interest with the district yet the majority of council blindly followed the administrator’s recommendations which amount to nothing short of a devious hatchet job.
Councillor Dickie tries to argue that the staff level in the Building Department should be determined using an annual average of appointments when in reality one has to provide sufficient manpower during the busy construction season and scale it back in the off-season.
The whole program is funded entirely by building permit fees and there are sufficient funds to cover the cost of three inspectors to meet current demand, yet the district is making builders wait unnecessarily for permits and inspections. He also argues that their plan can rely heavily on an entry level plan checker to carry the load which is much like saying we don’t need tradesmen for building houses.
Councillor Dickie talks about a parks crew and an engineering crew having problems around mowing schedules and that there was a problem moving people around as needed. That is not a structural problem that justifies firing a director; it is an administrator problem who set this arrangement up in the first place and did nothing to monitor his work afterwards.
Sorry Councillor Dickie, but you got rid of the wrong guy.
Councillor Dickie also states that Mr. Banmen, the director of finance, resigned without telling us that actually he was “constructively dismissed” through a planned demotion by the administrator and council.
As taxpayers, we should all be concerned when our chief financial officer resigns in the face of fiscal stupidity on the part of his masters.
The people involved in creating the organizational structure were previous councils who thought carefully about what needed to be created to get the job done. The organization was always changing to meet the needs of the district. They used care, good judgement and fiscal responsibility to protect the taxpayer and they did not waste money. Those are traits that this reckless mayor, administrator and most of council do not possess. Previous councils established a sound base for future councils to build upon but this council wastes money like a bunch of drunken sailors.
Meanwhile the district administrator spends $60,000 on personal expenses courtesy of the taxpayer and we cannot even get a new door at the seniors centre because the district leadership says there is no money. I guess they are sticking it to the seniors as well.
We will never agree with every decision that a council makes but $1 million wasted by this council on an invalid process is a huge wake-up call for us. At election time, help bring back fiscal responsibility to our community by voting the guilty parties from office. They obviously don’t value our money.