The Village of Keremeos core service review was released last week – all five pages, totalling $6,629.20 in cost.
It was disappointing to see how little new information was in the report, which seems to us to be very simplistic and single minded in its approach to assessing village operations.
On the report’s final pages, the seven recommendations released to the public are especially simplistic.
Probably the most important issue we have with this review is the fact that it did nothing to assess the village’s ability to pay for higher staff salaries the report says is needed. In suggesting that higher levels of pay is needed to stem the turnover of CAOs in Keremeos, the report did not address the other reasons why the the position is vacated so often – and in doing so, the report’s conclusions help to foster continued inequities in wages between the public and private sector.
Take for example, a recent news item regarding the recent filling of a CAO position in Williams Lake, where Don Degagne recently took the position.
The newspaper report noted that “Don worked in a number of communities in B.C.,” (including Keremeos) adding that the town received more than 90 applications for the position.
The review could have served its purpose better had it truly looked into the matter of B.C.’s municipal CAOs game of musical chairs, noting that maybe – just maybe – CAO attrition is related to the fact that the position in B.C. small communities is seen by them as a stepping stone up the career ladder rather than a position to aspire to. If this is so, raising wages will do nothing more than feed an already highly paid position, forcing municipalities to continue upping the ante without just cause – or hope of resolving the issue.