EDITORIAL: Parksville will look at adding city staff to deal with growth

The decisions on the 2017 budget will have to be made before real populations numbers are known

It was in the preamble of a staff report, the executive summary, but it jumped off the page.

The City of Parksville’s chief executive officer, Debbie Comis, was providing city council Monday night with a heads-up. She was warning them (our word, not hers) that requests for more staff will be in front of council when it’s time to talk about the 2017 budget, a time that will be upon us quickly.

Some of these positions were already slated to come on board in 2017. They were in the five-year financial plan and include an assistant for the fire department (full time), bumping the emergency program co-ordinator to full time from basically two days a week and the addition of an information technology co-op student.

Comis is also going to ask council to move forward to 2017 (from the 2018 original budget plan) the addition of a full-time human resources co-ordinator. She would also like the city to add a full-time administrative support position, a full-time (temporary) occupational health and safety co-op student and one more day a week (increasing to three) for a part-time finance position.

In total, this could represent an increase in wages from 2016 to 2017 of more than $300,000 to a wage bill that was about $5.3 million (2015).

In her report, Comis said “the City of Parksville continues to grow and develop. Construction is at an all-time high; building permit requests are breaking records.”

Comis said there were more than 300 community park events this summer, bylaw enforcement complaints continue to rise, emergency preparedness planning demands are increasing and senior governments are asking for much more reporting these days.

“This all translates into increased service demands and if we are to meet those demands and maintain our current service levels, we will be asking council to consider additional staff in the 2017 budget process,” Comis wrote.

What’s next, a subway system? Has Parksville really grown that much? Unfortunately, we aren’t going to get a reliable number related to population until next year, long after budget decisions for 2017 have been made. That’s when the first dribs and drabs of information from this year’s federal census will be released.

The latest population figure we can find for the City of Parksville comes from B.C. Statistics 2014 estimates: 12,227. The way Comis and others are talking, perhaps we should not be surprised if more than 14,000 people now call Parksville home.

That’s quite a leap from 35 years ago when Parksville became a city with a population of 5,299.

— Editorial by John Harding

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Parksville people: Joan Lemoine on loving life, volunteering at age 90

‘I’ve had a really good life, I have absolutely no regrets’

Parksville filmmaker nominated for provincial Leo Award

Joel Grenz tabbed in ‘Best Music Video’ category

‘Someone knows something’: a look into Vancouver Island missing persons with interactive map

There are more than three dozen people listed as missing throughout Vancouver Island

Parksville soccer player invited to elite soccer academy in Portugal

Wylee Franks aspires to become a professional player

B.C. records 62 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths since Friday

Province has just over 200 active cases

Port Alberni will have a salmon derby on Labour Day after all

Alberni Valley Tyee Club reveals ‘socially distanced’ derby only for Labour Day 2020

Duncan model makes quarter finals in ‘Maxim’ magazine contest

Brandee Peart among top one per cent left in competition

Suspicious fire quenched before reaching gunpowder in Nanaimo’s historic Bastion

Probe underway in basement blaze that erupted near where powder stored to fire signature cannons

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Owner of Langford construction company gets nine months for sexual assault

Kyle Mostowy already spent time in prison for sexually assaulting employees

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

Fisherman snags barracuda off Vancouver Island in rare encounter

Ferocious fish, not native to Canada, was netted and released in Alberni Inlet

Most Read