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Municipality of Saanich - Mayor and Council General Discussion Thread


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#21 spanky123

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Posted 12 December 2014 - 01:54 PM

The relationship between the Mayor and the CAO is crucial but the CAO is an appointment made by the council and not by the mayor.   If this is the end of Paul Murray as CAO, then the council will need to appoint one of the current senior staff to be acting in the role.   City Hall can not legally function without someone in the CAO role.

 

If it comes to hiring a new CAO, which I expect it will, it is the council that will choose the new CAO, not the mayor.  I have no idea what happens if there a disagreement between the council and the mayor as to who should get the role.

 

The compensation package for a new CAO is likely to be broadly similar to the the current one.

 

What I do not understand is why the rush to get rid of Paul Murray, I have never heard that he was any sort of problem.  He was someone that came up through the management ranks of Saanich and was not hired in externally, he seems to be apolitical as far as I can tell

 

Thanks Bernard.

 

Good explanation.



#22 spanky123

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Posted 12 December 2014 - 02:23 PM

According to the TC, Atwell approached Murray even before he was sworn in as Mayor and told him he was on his way out and to start negotiating his severance package.



#23 jonny

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Posted 12 December 2014 - 02:25 PM

According to the TC, Atwell approached Murray even before he was sworn in as Mayor and told him he was on his way out and to start negotiating his severance package.

 

If true, that certainly sounds shady and underhanded at the very least.


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#24 Mike K.

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Posted 12 December 2014 - 02:43 PM

^ Don't disagree with anything you said but that doesn't mean that Atwell has carte blanche to do anything he wants without council approval. Atwell supporters are advancing the idea today that Saanich doesn't need a City Manager and that Atwell should direct staff himself as the CEO and save the $200K.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out.


Yup, for sure, but I'm just pointing out that a lot of public sentiment was against Leonard despite thr municipality chugging along without any "real" problems.

I'm sure the development community is feeling the heat as they now have to forge a relationship with a mayor whom they never expected to get elected and most of whom opposed.

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#25 tedward

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Posted 12 December 2014 - 02:44 PM

If true, that certainly sounds shady and underhanded at the very least.

 

Right, because giving someone a "heads up" is somehow hiding something from them? What's next jonny? Black is white. Up is down.


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#26 jonny

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Posted 12 December 2014 - 02:58 PM

Right, because giving someone a "heads up" is somehow hiding something from them? What's next jonny? Black is white. Up is down.

 

It seems exceedingly unprofessional to me for Atwell to come in and publicly announce that the CAO is done when the Mayor doesn't actually have any power to dismiss the CAO. Who does this guy think he is? Bring the matter to council and go from there. Don't treat your employees like doo-doo.

 

I don't know much about the situation, and this is the first I have ever heard of Paul Murray, but the whole thing smells like sour grapes and political grandstanding to me. This is like something Rob Ford would do.

 

Edit: I guess Atwell didn't publicly announce this. I still think this is an unprofessional management approach. What if Council doesn't vote out Murray and Atwell and Murray end up having to work together for four years? I'm sure Murray will really go out of his way to help Atwell do his job, and vice versa.


Edited by jonny, 12 December 2014 - 03:32 PM.

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#27 spanky123

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Posted 12 December 2014 - 03:07 PM

Right, because giving someone a "heads up" is somehow hiding something from them? What's next jonny? Black is white. Up is down.

 

I am only going by what the TC is reporting but bringing in an outside lawyer and telling a guy to start negotiating his severance package is hardly a friendly 'heads up'. Apparently Atwell had no authority to do that and now doesn't want to talk about it.


Edited by spanky123, 12 December 2014 - 03:07 PM.

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#28 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 12 December 2014 - 03:09 PM

I am only going by what the TC is reporting but bringing in an outside lawyer and telling a guy to start negotiating his severance package is hardly a friendly 'heads up'. Apparently Atwell had no authority to do that and now doesn't want to talk about it.

 

Doesn't want to talk about it, or won't talk about personnel issues, as most don't or can't.



#29 spanky123

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Posted 12 December 2014 - 03:11 PM

Doesn't want to talk about it, or won't talk about personnel issues, as most don't or can't.

 

I was responding to the TC's claim that he wouldn't return their call.


Edited by spanky123, 12 December 2014 - 03:11 PM.


#30 spanky123

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Posted 12 December 2014 - 03:33 PM

It seems exceedingly unprofessional to me for Atwell to come in and publicly announce that the CAO is done when the Mayor doesn't actually have any power to dismiss the CAO. Who does this guy think he is? Bring the matter to council and go from there. Don't treat your employees like doo-doo.

 

I don't know much about the situation, and this is the first I have ever heard of Paul Murray, but the whole thing smells like sour grapes and political grandstanding to me. This is like something Rob Ford would do.

 

Firing someone "to send a message", as people posting on Atwell's facebook page are suggesting, rarely works. You don't get results by trying to instill fear in people. You get a lack of respect and trust which leads to good people leaving and lower overall performance. Even if Murray was a complete dolt and everyone disliked him, a much more even handed, fairer approach would have been respected.

 

I wonder how many people posting abusive comments would feel the same way if the shoe was on the other foot and they were fired on a whim by a new boss or manager?


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#31 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 12 December 2014 - 03:36 PM

Firing someone "to send a message", as people posting on Atwell's facebook page are suggesting, rarely works. You don't get results by trying to instill fear in people. You get a lack of respect and trust which leads to good people leaving and lower overall performance. Even if Murray was a complete dolt and everyone disliked him, a much more even handed, fairer approach would have been respected.

 

I wonder how many people posting abusive comments would feel the same way if the shoe was on the other foot and they were fired on a whim by a new boss or manager?

 

Pretty sure it's not on a whim.  Atwell has been watching Saanich municipal hall for a long time.  Why not move out the CAO now?  Why wait two or three years into a new mayor term?  If you know you don't have the same goals or methods, ship him out now.  This happens all the time at this level.



#32 spanky123

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Posted 12 December 2014 - 03:44 PM

Pretty sure it's not on a whim.  Atwell has been watching Saanich municipal hall for a long time.  Why not move out the CAO now?  Why wait two or three years into a new mayor term?  If you know you don't have the same goals or methods, ship him out now.  This happens all the time at this level.

 

I don't see how anyone can form an accurate opinion without having ever worked with an individual or consulted with other members of the management team (assuming it is true that Murray was approached even before Atwell was sworn in). Why not take a few weeks, get to know the lay of the land, and then make a informed opinion. It is two weeks before XMAS, are we really in that big a rush to make a change?


Edited by spanky123, 12 December 2014 - 03:45 PM.


#33 Bernard

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Posted 12 December 2014 - 05:25 PM

The problem is that it sounds like he jumped the gun - the CAO is an appointment of council and not of the mayor.   Even if he wanted him gone, he should have first gone to council and discussed it with them.  They negotiated a transition time with the current CAO and then start the hiring process for a new CAO

 

Rumours I hear is that the mayor has a preferred person for the role as the new CAO, if these rumours are true, I doubt the council will agree to hire this person.

 

Ultimately one problem with the TC story is that is not reporting anything the public can verify and the council can not comment.   There are many rumours out there, why is this one in the media and not the others?    



#34 spanky123

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Posted 12 December 2014 - 06:08 PM

The problem is that it sounds like he jumped the gun - the CAO is an appointment of council and not of the mayor.   Even if he wanted him gone, he should have first gone to council and discussed it with them.  They negotiated a transition time with the current CAO and then start the hiring process for a new CAO

 

Rumours I hear is that the mayor has a preferred person for the role as the new CAO, if these rumours are true, I doubt the council will agree to hire this person.

 

Ultimately one problem with the TC story is that is not reporting anything the public can verify and the council can not comment.   There are many rumours out there, why is this one in the media and not the others?    

 

From what I am hearing there is a big split in council so no way Atwell would get the votes he needs if he tries to drop in his own candidate. My guess is that the TC did get an off the record comment to validate what they posted.



#35 Bernard

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Posted 12 December 2014 - 06:50 PM

I am not getting the sense there is any big split among the council members



#36 tedward

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Posted 13 December 2014 - 03:31 PM

It seems exceedingly unprofessional to me ...

 

Given the behaviour of many "professionals" that may be debatable.

 

... bringing in an outside lawyer and telling a guy to start negotiating his severance package is hardly a friendly 'heads up'.

 

Never said it was friendly.

 

I prefer my criticism to be accurate rather than the ad hominem, let's-make-things-up approach.

 

Jonny implied that somehow Atwell was doing something behind the guys back or sneakily when clearly he was forthright and honest. Sure he may have done it badly and come across as a douche-canoe but as it has been reported I see nothing underhanded or dishonest.


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#37 johnk

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Posted 13 December 2014 - 04:19 PM

Doesn't the CAO take his orders from council? AFAIK the CAO is not a politician and does not set policy. His job is to administer the municipality and see that things move along as the mayor and council decide. As long as he does the job competently and honestly why try to fire him? Unless, of course, there is personal stuff lurking.

#38 G-Man

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Posted 13 December 2014 - 05:06 PM

It would be a similar role to a deputy minister in government and those positions rarely go to someone that is just a good manager they have to be politically trusted as well.
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#39 johnk

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Posted 13 December 2014 - 05:51 PM

It would be a similar role to a deputy minister in government and those positions rarely go to someone that is just a good manager they have to be politically trusted as well.


DMs can certainly be political appointments as they serve at the pleasure of the minister but the municipal administrator is not the mayor's choice. Politicians would be well-advised to leave career professional administrators to do their jobs. Attwell and Helps (sole-source contract flub) seem to have made some classic rookie mistakes though Helps should know better after serving a term on council

#40 LJ

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Posted 13 December 2014 - 06:24 PM

Did Murray work on Leonard's campaign or something? There must be something deeper than just wanting to bring your own man in to do this in such an abrupt manner. There must be a history there that we are not aware of.


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