Saanich should explain departure of CAO
The slogan “Serving the People” figures prominently on the cover page of the latest Statement of Financial Information for Saanich, but is it true?
Eye-watering taxpayers find it unacceptable that Mayor Fred Haynes and council are not fully transparent about the most recent departure of Saanich’s chief administrative officer. The public interest needs to be served.
Why is there such a frequent turnover of CAOs in the region followed by golden handshakes, parachutes and costly severances? About six years ago, the departure of the last CAO in Saanich cost taxpayers a princely $476,000, although Sooke takes top honours among the 13 municipalities with the expensive departures of seven CEOs since incorporation in 1999.
How will Saanich district be impacted at budget time with the loss of a CAO – the “critical linchpin between the political and the professional public service” – and the key to whether a municipality runs well?
The importance of the job is reflected in the $288,176 salary in 2020, the highest-paid employee in the region’s largest municipality.
Haynes told CTV News “it was the collective will of council to go in a new direction.” So why not tell us what that new direction is and why it requires a senior staff change, whether a severance can be justified and how much it’s going to cost taxpayers?
At the end of the day, who will best be served? Without full disclosure, Saanich council clearly doesn’t believe in its own motto.
John Treleaven, Chair, Grumpy Taxpayer$ of Greater Victoria
Edited by Victoria Watcher, 04 December 2021 - 05:33 AM.