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District of Saanich | 2018-2022 | Mayor and council general discussion


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#101 Redd42

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Posted 12 November 2021 - 11:49 AM

The entrance to the mall off Wilkinson is a sharp right hand turn - very awkward. Why no turning lane?



#102 Mike K.

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Posted 12 November 2021 - 01:03 PM

The entrance to the mall off Wilkinson is a sharp right hand turn - very awkward. Why no turning lane?

 

Because View Royal hates you. And everyone else.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

j/k. I kid, I kid.


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#103 Mike K.

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Posted 01 December 2021 - 08:24 PM

Saanich, BC – The District of Saanich has decided to end its relationship with Chief Administrative Officer Paul Thorkelsson effective November 29, 2021.

“Saanich has benefited from Paul’s leadership these past six years,” said Mayor Fred Haynes. “On behalf of Saanich Council and staff, we thank Paul for his service and wish him well in his future endeavours.”

Saanich Council has appointed Director of Building, Bylaw, Licensing and Legal Services Brent Reems as acting CAO effective December 6, 2021. Recruitment for an interim CAO will begin immediately. The interim CAO will remain in the position until after the 2022 municipal election. The new Council will be responsible for recruiting the permanent CAO.

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#104 TaxedOut

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Posted 08 December 2021 - 02:32 PM

A Letter to Times Colonist on Dec 4:

 

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



#105 TaxedOut

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Posted 19 December 2021 - 12:08 PM

A Letter to Times Colonist on Dec 17:

A lump of coal for Saanich taxpayers

Saanich taxpayers will pay about $600,000 in severance pay following the dismissal of the municipality’s chief administrative officer on Nov. 29.

The CAO salary in 2021 was $289,880. The premier of B.C. is currently paid $210,945.

Although the severance payout has not been finalized, the contract allows for two years of severance for dismissal without cause. The CAO is now eligible for severance of $579,760, according to a freedom of information request filed by Grumpy Taxpayer$.

Within the salary portion of the three-page contract, a so-called “exempt special allowance” of 10 days is granted for working extra hours. The allowance amounts to about $10,000 and is credited on Jan. 1 annually. Mayor Fred Haynes has said it was the collective will of council to go in a new direction, so again, what is the new direction that required a dismissal without cause of a senior executive?

More than two weeks after the dismissal, Haynes and council have yet to explain why there was this expensive “parting of ways.”

With 12 other neighbourhood municipalities on the South Island, our fractured governance is costing us a pretty penny for what benefit?

Stan Bartlett, vice-chair
Grumpy Taxpayer$ of Greater Victoria

#106 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 20 December 2021 - 05:16 PM

The District of Saanich is on the hook for almost $600,000 after firing its chief administrative officer without cause last month.

The District announced in late November it would “end its relationship” with its CAO of almost six years effective Nov. 29.

Saanich Freedom of Information documents containing Paul Thorkelsson severance amount, as well as his employment agreement, were provided to Black Press Media by a local taxpayer advocacy group. The documents show Thorkelsson will receive $579,769 in severance pay, equal to two years’ salary.


https://www.vicnews....-without-cause/

Edited by Victoria Watcher, 20 December 2021 - 05:16 PM.


#107 Nparker

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Posted 20 December 2021 - 05:36 PM

The District of Saanich is on the hook for almost $600,000 after firing its chief administrative officer without cause last month...

District of Saanich aka Saanich taxpayers.  :mad:


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#108 LocalMom

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Posted 20 December 2021 - 11:48 PM

Ridiculous to let him go without cause; as a Saanich taxpayer, I’m unamused.

#109 Mike K.

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Posted 21 December 2021 - 06:13 AM

From what I heard, there was a lot of tension at city hall. It must be tough to find a perfect manager. But at the wages paid you’d think we’d be getting more positive output then this region sees from its top bureaucrats.

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#110 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 21 December 2021 - 06:27 AM

From what I heard, there was a lot of tension at city hall. It must be tough to find a perfect manager. But at the wages paid you’d think we’d be getting more positive output then this region sees from its top bureaucrats.

 

I think it can be difficult.  This guy is a top-end beaurocrat and on one hand you can say "just do what you bosses (Council) tells you" but at the same time he has ethics, policies, expectations that he thinks are best practices for local government operations.  Eventually there will be a clash.  He's probably dealing with a council where at least half of them have less busines experience than him, and even less that understand budgets, payroll, HR. and general business practices.


Edited by Victoria Watcher, 21 December 2021 - 06:29 AM.


#111 Mike K.

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Posted 21 December 2021 - 06:34 AM

Right. It’s not easy to turn dreams into reality.

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#112 Redd42

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Posted 21 December 2021 - 11:04 AM

I think it can be difficult.  This guy is a top-end beaurocrat and on one hand you can say "just do what you bosses (Council) tells you" but at the same time he has ethics, policies, expectations that he thinks are best practices for local government operations.  Eventually there will be a clash.  He's probably dealing with a council where at least half of them have less busines experience than him, and even less that understand budgets, payroll, HR. and general business practices.

 

Since I once upon a time worked for a municipality, I can vouch for this. I was shocked at the lack of education and brain power around the council table. And at that time, I was fresh out of university.


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#113 Nparker

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Posted 21 December 2021 - 11:07 AM

...I was shocked at the lack of education and brain power around the council table...

I suspect you'd be dumbfounded if you were to sit in a CoV council meeting.


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#114 TaxedOut

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Posted 21 December 2021 - 09:03 PM

“Why would I risk my career prospects?”

…. Any ambitious and competent applicant for the now-empty CAO position is going to have to think long and hard about risking her professional career by reporting to a council that’s fired two CAOs within the space of six years.

… The candidate pool is going to be very shallow.

I’m always stunned by how few politicians have any experience in running an enterprise (of any size): e.g. never created and implemented a business strategy; never hired and managed staff: never created and managed a budget; never had to meet a payroll; etc.

Indeed, Canada has a prime minister who has never had a real job in his entire life and fills his cabinet largely with amateurs. Perhaps scared of competence he fired the only two ministers with any track record of significant achievement: Marc Garneau and Jody Wilson-Raybould.
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#115 TaxedOut

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Posted 21 December 2021 - 09:23 PM

A letter to the Saanich News - 2021 Dec 20

It’s interesting how Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes is stating the CAO position is tied to the election cycle, and as such, is justifying the delay of appointing a new CAO until November 2022.

In looking back at the history of past CAOs I do not see any such correlation. From the administrations of Hugh Curtis and Mel Couvelier through to Murray Coell and Frank Leonard to the present, I see no mention of the position being considered a political one.

I believe that most political candidates use the terms open, accountable and transparent when campaigning, however, that seems to disappear upon election. The BC Liberals under Gordon Campbell actually used these terms as their campaign slogan, all the while taking funds from ICBC and putting them into general revenue to bolster their claim of economic success.

Can it be the lack of transparency around the CAO specifics is related to next October’s municipal elections, therefore making it not the problem of the current administration?

Wayne Messer
Saanich

#116 TaxedOut

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Posted 30 December 2021 - 06:51 AM

A story in the Times Colonist on Dec 29 … !!!!

Notice how Haynes deliberately tries to mislead us by saying that he can’t comment on the settlement, and proceeds to attack The Grumpy Taxpayer$.

That was NOT the question that The Grumpy Taxpayer$ asked! The question asked was “What are the new directions” that supposedly lead to Thorkellson’s firing
.
Haynes devious response simply re-emphasises the need for complete transparency.

Here’s the Times-Colonist story:
…………………..
Group questions $580,000 severance package for departed Saanich CAO
Times Colonist, 29 Dec 2021, JEFF BELL

A municipal watchdog group says Saanich’s former chief administrative officer is eligible for a severance of almost $580,000 after leaving the job at the end of November.
The Grumpy Taxpayer$ of Greater Victoria said it filed a freedom of information request to get the figure, after Saanich decided to part ways with Paul Thorkelsson following his 5½year stint as the municipality’s highest-ranking manager.
The group, which put Thorkelsson’s 2021 salary at $289,880, said the payout has not been finalized.
It said in a statement that given public sentiment about “over-generous severances,” council needs to come clean on the issue.
“The mayor has indicated the council is moving in a new direction and that’s why Mr. Thorkelsson has received a severance package,” said group chairman John Treleaven. “My question is: What are the new directions?”
Thorkelsson was hired in 2015, a year after the departure of Paul Murray, whose own settlement cost Saanich $476,000.
Council at the time unanimously approved Thorkelsson as Murray’s successor.
Then-councillor and now mayoral candidate Dean Murdock said then-mayor Richard Atwell forced Murray out, leaving council to deal with the consequences.
Current Mayor Fred Haynes said he and councillors can’t comment on Thorkelsson’s severance.
“In matters such as these related to human resources, they’re highly confidential and private,” Haynes said. “I would say surely the Grumpy Taxpayer$, given their background in governance, understand that.
“For them to be asking me to breach that confidentiality and privacy suggests that they want poor governance instead of good governance.”
Haynes said council is made up of nine “independent minds” who make decisions on human resources and other issues for the betterment of Saanich. “None of these decisions are made lightly.”
The job of chief administrative officer is “a critical, keyfunctioning position,” he said.
After Thorkelsson’s departure, council installed Brent Reems, director of building, bylaw, licensing and legal services, as acting CAO. Haynes said an interim CAO could be hired by February to serve through the October 2022 municipal election.
The permanent, full-time CAO will be chosen by the next council, he said.

#117 spanky123

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Posted 30 December 2021 - 09:08 AM

Indeed, Canada has a prime minister who has never had a real job in his entire life and fills his cabinet largely with amateurs. Perhaps scared of competence he fired the only two ministers with any track record of significant achievement: Marc Garneau and Jody Wilson-Raybould.

 

When we are down to an astronaut and a lawyer as leading examples of business expertise then we are in big trouble.


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#118 Mike K.

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Posted 11 January 2022 - 02:15 PM

Wowzers. But when you've got elected political elders acting far worse, it's hard to expect more from teenagers.

 

Screen Shot 2022-01-11 at 2.09.49 PM.png


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#119 Nparker

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Posted 11 January 2022 - 02:17 PM

October 2022: Ned Taylor - former Saanich councillor and CRD director


Edited by Nparker, 11 January 2022 - 02:17 PM.

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#120 Mike K.

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Posted 11 January 2022 - 02:20 PM

^

 

okboomer.jpg


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