Candidate Michel Rabu says city has ‘disgruntled’ workers

Conditions at City Hall and the manager to worker ratio infiltrated the mayoral debate at the Seniors Centre last Wednesday.

Conditions at City Hall and the manager to worker ratio infiltrated the mayoral debate at the Seniors Centre last Wednesday.

Michel Rabu hinted that there is a toxic atmosphere at City Hall.

“Right now, I speak to people employed by the city in all different departments who have worked there for years,” Rabu said.

“They say they’re oppressed, they’re bullied.”

Rabu said he has asked them why they don’t leave and their response is they’re “three or five years away from retirement and can’t get a job somewhere else, so they put up with it.”

Rabu said that poses big problems for the city.

“I know from experience, if you have disgruntled employees working for you, you have problems,” Rabu said.

“That’s what we have here – disgruntled employees working for managers at City Hall.”

Rabu said he also questions the amount of city managers.

“That’s why I’m going to be hard on them, to make sure we get the maximum amount of work from the people we hire,” Rabu said.

Coun. Ziggy Stewart said the city does have a good group of hard working employees and said the answer is succession.

“As people leave, just don’t hire more people,” Stewart said.

“Get a succession plan in place instead of bringing new people in.”

Stewart said the media has also been hard on city managers and could be scaring them away.

“If I was working for the city right now and I read the paper every day about what a crappy job I’m doing, I wouldn’t want to work here, so it’s a double-edged sword,” Stewart said.

“Yes we can always improve but if we want the city to get better, let’s quit griping about it. I don’t want to see more city staff, I want to keep the good people we have.”

Stewart said the city recently lost its new financial manager because her husband had to move away for work.

Stewart said it’s a good example of a position he would like to see the filled from within.

At roughly one manager per 4.7 employees, Walter Jakeway said wasteful city spending is contributing to high taxes.

“I think Campbell River does not have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem,” Jakeway said.

Coun. Roy Grant agreed the ratio looks bad.

“My thought is there needs to be a full review of the entire organization to find out what’s going on here, why the ratio has crept up over the years,” Grant said.

“I think it could be because of the turnover we have had, which is unfortunate.”

The four mayoral candidates were also questioned about how they would each stimulate the tourism sector.

Rabu said Campbell River has so many natural assets and more to offer than other larger areas on the Island.

He said the city simply needs to market it more aggressively.

Stewart said there are already lots of tourists coming to Campbell River.

“It’s here, but to keep it, we need to market it,” Stewart said.

Candidates also discussed outgoing Mayor Charlie Cornfield’s open door sessions, where members of the public could stop by Cornfield’s office to discuss what was on their mind.

“I think it’s important for the mayor to communicate with the public face-to-face,” Grant said.

“I would make sure I regularly set aside time when people could come and sit down and talk about the issues.”

Jakeway said his door would always be open.

“Certainly there should be open government,” he said.

“You can call or e-mail me anytime and you will get a personal response every time.”

Rabu said as mayor, there needs to be a commitment to spend time with the taxpayers.

Rabu said his door will be open Monday to Friday from eight in the morning until five at night.

Stewart said open government is common sense.

“When available, I should be there to talk to you,” Stewart said.

The four mayoral candidates, as well as council candidates, will be at it again on Thursday when Campbellton First hosts a forum with a focus on Campbellton.

 

Just Posted

Healthier snacks coming to City of Campbell River facilities

City in the process of replacing high-sugar and high-fat snacks and beverages in vending machines

Families learn to navigate the perils of the Internet

Speaker talks to Campbell River kids, parents about staying safe in a social media world

‘Priceless’ hat stolen from Indigenous art store in Campbell River during break-in

Ernie Smith, co-owner of Awatin Aboriginal Art, looking for help in recovering stolen hat

Vancouver measles outbreak prompts vaccine vigilance on Island

No cases here yet, but Island health authorities push measles vaccinations - and not just for kids

BC Hydro increasing flow down Elk Falls to assist steelhead migration and spawning

Water flows within Elk Falls Canyon are increasing today to assist steelhead… Continue reading

Family Day Weekend Atom tournament another success

Campbell River Minor Hockey puts on another great event celebrating sportsmanship

70% of Canadians agree with mandatory vaccines for children: poll

The debate for pro and anti vaccinations has heated up after a measles outbreak in Vancouver

Vancouver Island petition to decriminalize all drugs continues to collect signatures

A Courtenay couple is collecting signatures for their petition to decriminalize drugs in Canada

VIDEO: Woman, off-duty cop in serious condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

‘A little baloney’ in PM’s claim about solicitor-client privilege on SNC-Lavalin

The Conservatives and NDP want Trudeau to waive that privilege so Wilson-Raybould can offer her side of the story

Proposed edible pot rules are wasteful, would leave products tasteless: critics

When Canada legalized weed last fall, it only allowed fresh or dried bud, oil, plants and seeds

Samsung folding phone is different – but also almost $2,000

But most analysts see a limited market for foldable-screen phones

Most Read