Adding staff at North Cowichan not a great move

Adding staff at North Cowichan not a great move

Municipality keeps spending while taxes rise

North Cowichan’s announcement about hiring four new staff members for 2018 certainly raised some eyebrows.

It doesn’t matter how it’s justified from saving money here or saving money there, the public isn’t buying it. As long as taxes continue to rise, which they are again in 2018, the municipality has to realize people aren’t going to give this news a favourable response.

The hirings include: a community planner at an annual rate of $93,200, a technical services specialist earning $82,000 and a planner plus a human resources generalist for $46,600 each. The last two positions are considered half-year hires for 2018.

A portion of the cost will apparently be funded through savings from vacant management positions from 2017, but that reasoning isn’t going to bring a huge acceptance.

A heavier workload within certain departments of the municipality is being cited as the main reason behind the hirings, according to a staff report.

Many businesses, corporations and companies are having to get by with less people and double duties for employees.

It’s a reality for most operations to continue steamlining within budget guidelines. North Cowichan has so far averted any staff reductions that are so prevalent elsewhere and, yet, wants to go in the other direction by adding more personnel.

It all has to come to an end at some point. North Cowichan has to toe the line like everyone else and the first step should be to halt the increases in taxes residents have experienced so many years in succession.

Once that’s accomplished, the staffing can be more readily addressed without taxpayers feeling like they’re taking the hit.