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

ORCA continues push for track upgrade at Ballenas

Running association official plans to meet with MLA on Thursday

Government looks for public input on Cathedral Grove safety concerns

Port Alberni, Parksville info sessions invite public to help ‘shape future access’

Little Qualicum Cheeseworks cheese linked to 5 E. coli cases in B.C.

People are asked to throw out or return ‘Qualicum Spice’ cheese

Gas prices on Vancouver Island to drop six cents

But a ‘volatile’ market could lead to increases in the coming weeks

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

Cowichan school district defends lack of notice to parents following elementary student arrest

Officials with School District 79 stand by their decision not to send out an alert.

B.C. firefighters rescue horse stuck in mud

‘It happens more often than you’d think,’ says deputy chief

Island Corridor Foundation optimistic about restoring rail service

If green-lighted, first priority would be Langford to Victoria route

Canadians more prepared for weather disaster than financial one: poll

RBC recommends people check their bank app as often as the weather app

B.C. dog owner sues after pet killed in beaver trap

A Kamloops man is suing the operator of a trapline north of the city after his dog died

Heading soccer balls can cause damage to brain cells: UBC study

Roughly 42 per cent of children in the country play soccer, according to statistics from Heritage Canada

Most Read