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

Just Posted

The Arrowsmith Search and Rescue Society has outgrown its home at the Coombs-Hilliers Fire Department and will soon move to its new operations hall at the Qualicum Beach Airport. (PQB News file photo)
The Qualicum Beach Farmers Market is one of the organizations approved for a grant-in-aid by the Town of Qualicum Beach. (PQB News file photo)
COVID-19: Town of Qualicum Beach awards $80K in relief funds to community groups

Pandemic has put a financial strain on many organizations

The remains of the Mid-Island Co-op in Whiskey Creek along the Alberni Highway on Friday, June 18, after a blaze the day before devastated the gas station. (Michael Briones photo)
VIDEO: Whiskey Creek gas station destroyed by fire after camper van explosion

Nine fire departments responded to the incident, no injuries reported

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

New research suggests wolves can be steered away from the endangered caribou herds they prey on by making the man-made trails they use to hunt harder to move along. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Culling cutlines, not B.C. wolves, key to preserving caribou herds: researcher

The government has turned to killing hundreds of wolves in an effort to keep caribou around

Parksville Civic and Technology Centre at 100 Jensen Ave. (PQB News file photo)
Parksville council receives letter from B.C.’s health minister regarding free prescription contraception

Letter was in response to Parksville’s support for universal no-cost measure

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Central Okanagan Grade 12 grads are set to get $500 each after a more than $1 million donation from a Kelowna couple. (File photo)
B.C. couple donating $500 to every Grade 12 student in the Okanagan

Anonymous donors identified as Kelowna entrepreneurs Lance and Tammy Torgerson

Rita Coolidge played the main stage at Vancouver Island Musicfest in 2017. (Black Press file photo)
This year’s Vancouver Island MusicFest to virtually showcase beauty of Comox Valley

Returning July 9 through 11 with more than 25 hours of music performances

British Columbia’s premier says he’s received a second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. (Twitter/John Horgan)
B.C. premier gets 2nd dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

John Horgan shared a photo of himself on social media Friday afternoon holding a completed vaccination card

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Most Read