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Mayor wants to downsize city hall

Mayor Walter Jakeway says he plans to permanently downsize city hall if he is re-elected in November.

Jakeway said a group with insider knowledge of city hall would be formed to dictate who stays and who goes.

“The mayor’s turn-around team would be formally established after the election but several potential members are already researching the situations,” Jakeway told the Mirror.

The mayor has consistently said city hall is too big. At a Rotary luncheon one year after Jakeway was elected mayor, he referenced Penticton, similar in size to Campbell River and which had, at the time, just shed 31 people by working from the top down.

Jakeway said “Campbell River must do the same” because the city is “bogged down by the same old habits.”

Jakeway last week appeared on the Shaw TV program Talk About and told host John Twigg that his turn around team would be made up of current and former city employees who would be tasked with cutting positions.

“It won’t be me doing it,” Jakeway told Twigg. “But if we do downsize it will not be from the bottom up, it will be from the top down. We have a lot of people who are probably ready to retire plus we’ve got a lot of empty spots so let’s start with them. It’s not fun, but it’s also gotta be permanent.”

Jakeway said taxes have continued to go up every year since he was elected in 2011 and cutting staff is one way at reducing city costs.

The city’s most recent financial statement reveals the city paid out $14.5 million in employee and city council wages in 2012.

There were at least 16 department managers and more than 60 people employed by the city.

The city did not get back in time with current staffing levels before the Mirror went to press.

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