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

Library month celebrates Indigenous people, culture in Parksville

Vancouver Island Regional Library showcasing culture of many Nations during October

Pole-climbing thieves pilfering wire in Parksville Qualicum Beach area

Repairs are costly and thefts jeopardize public safety

Green Party leader Elizabeth May talks eliminating fish farming in open ocean pens

May stops in Qualicum Beach as part of Island campaign

Qualicum Beach council discusses helping out Orca Place residents

Town considers offer of temporary jobs in the future

Winter preparation underway for mid-Island highways

Drivers reminded to ready vehicles for changing conditions

Scheer, Trudeau, Singh haggle over potential minority government outcome

If you believe the polls, it appears the Liberals and Conservatives are neck-and-neck

Kawhi Leonard, former Toronto Raptor, welcomed back to Vancouver at pre-season game

Fans go wild at pre-season game between L.A. Clippers and Dallas Mavericks at Rogers Arena

Greens and NDP go head to head on West Coast; Scheer takes fight to Bernier

Trudeau turns focus to key ridings outside Toronto after two days in Quebec

Scooter rider suffers life-threatening injuries in crash in Nanaimo

One person airlifted to hospital in Victoria after collision on Wall Street on Thursday

Campbell River homicide suspects arrested in Vancouver

Two men remain in custody, but have not been charged

Canucks beat Stanley Cup champs 4-3 in a shootout

Leivo nets winner, Vancouver dumps St. Louis for fourth straight win

Scholars say religious vaccine objections can’t be traced to Biblical sources

Vaccinations are a requirement to attend class in Ontario and New Brunswick, while B.C. launched a demand this fall

‘The more you test, the more you find’: Beef recalls a sign of success, experts say

Despite appearances, experts say a recent rise in major recalls is not a sign of food supply problems

ELECTION 2019: How would the major parties address Canada’s housing crisis?

Promises include speculation taxes, more affordable housing, and declaring housing a human right

Most Read