Qualicum Beach going without communications consultant

Communications responsibilities shifted in-house; many on this council elected on promises of more consultation with public

As promised in last year’s civic election, communication is important in Qualicum Beach, despite the lack of a communications officer, say town officials.

“We wanted to reduce our cost, there was no question about that, by reducing the number of exempt staff,” said Mayor Teunis Westbroek of a contract position that ended last year.

Chief Administrative Officer Daniel Sailland said the contract had been for both communications and cultural work and while they’re continuing the cultural work, they let the other part end naturally.

He said they “shifted the communications element internally, so we’ve picked that up with existing staff, and we’ve refocused those funds towards the current posting that’s out, which is a human resources manager,” which he called “a larger priority.”

Asked if council was comfortable with that change Westbroek paused. “I have to be very careful how I say that, I’m going to refer this to our CAO because as a council the only person we hire is our CAO and he reports to council. He then comes up with a structure for senior staff.”

“We are looking to Daniel in terms of how he wants the organization to be structured, how he feels comfortable to manage our community.”

Sailland said while they are focused on hiring an HR person and replacing retiring superintendant Al Cameron, communication “is still a priority for council.”

“I’ve shifted it into a roll of the entire organization, it’s not a singular point, thats where we shifted into training up staff and management in terms of outreach and communication, so we’re investing in that arm, so that the entire organization is better equipped as a whole.”

“It’s a philosophical change, council is aware of it and I shared all that information with them as we were going into this, but ultimately it was an operational decision.”

He was quick to add that Patricia Huntsman, who’d been contracted, did a great job and it wasn’t a reflection on her.

“As council it’s important not to tell the CAO how to do his job,” agreed Coun. Bill Luchtmeijer, but that they are still looking into it.

He added that Qualicum Beach is a particularly tricky place to communicate with residents since some are very plugged into modern media, while others can be very hard to reach.

“We always hear from people that they didn’t know about something.”

Just Posted

Parksville-area graffiti tagger arrested by RCMP

Existing court conditions required that suspect not be in possession of graffiti-making material

Winner crowned at Qualicum Bay Art Battle

Island painters compete in 20-minute art challenge

Seeing double, the trials and tribulations of twins

BIG READ: Three Vancouver Island mothers share their experiences with multiple births

VIDEO: Man extracted from vehicle eight hours after accident near Cameron Lake

People making pit stop at picnic area made crash discovery

Parksville man arrested in relation to Mercedes, motorcycle fight

RCMP recommend assault charge for man driving Mercedes

Conservation officer frees B.C. deer from flotation gear mishap

BC Conservation Officer Service is reminding residents to keep backyards clear of entanglements

VIDEO: B.C.-born firefighter remembered by MP in emotional speech

Family asks first responders to look after one another in wake of suicide, growing concerns of PTSD

Airline has ‘close call’ with drone while en route to B.C. airport

Jazz Aviation reported the drone sighting near Vancouver to the RCMP and Transport Canada

Tragic accident claims life of B.C. toddler

Fundraising effort has been created to help mom and family

B.C. nanny charged with sex abuse of 3 children

Saanich Police seek potential victims of Johnathon Lee Robichaud from Central Saanich

‘I’m no quitter’ on climate change issues, McKenna says at G7 ministers meeting

David Suzuki says if McKenna believes what she’s saying, she too should quit

VIDEO: Inside an eerily empty mall in Canada

Only nine of 517 retail spaces are open for business as the grand opening postponed to next year

B.C. wildfires burned large areas affected by mountain pine beetles: Experts

The mountain pine beetle epidemic affected more than 180,000 square kilometres in B.C.

Tens of thousands without power following tornado in Ottawa region

Hydro Ottawa says more than 170,000 customers were without power early this morning

Most Read