Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Is This City Council Just Plain Lazy?

Top City Job Filled Without Competition

In yet another move by this council that really makes you wonder if they have any concern for seeing that Nanaimo taxpayers are getting the best value for their money, Mayor Ruttan and his council have chosen to crown Mr. Swabey as replacement for Mr. Kenning who is leaving the office.

There are some very disturbing trends when it comes to managing taxpayer dollars coming from city hall. A few years ago they spent $16 million on a new office, without going to tender. More recently they seemed to think a $30 million price tag was 'ok' for the replacement of two dams, which now come in at less the $9 million. Sole sourcing thousands of dollars in engineering studies, and the list goes on and on.

Now the most recent disturbing example of extremely poor management comes with the news that the top city job is being filled without going to an open competition. Why would anyone, but this council think that is a good idea?

I am sure Mr. Swabey has done an excellent job during his 20+ years working for the city and could very well make an excellent city manager and may be the candidate chosen after an open competition in which he participates. But to simply crown him city manager as this council has is really quite troubling.

Call on this Mayor and Council to reconsider this decision and put the position out to open competition and if Mr. Swabey is the best candidate it will be obvious. After all, we are committing over 200,000 tax dollars each year to the person who occupies that position and we really need to know we are getting the best value for those dollars.

When these kind of decisions are made, I can't help but wonder if city council has not simply outlived its' usefulness as all they do is agree with whatever staff puts before them. So why not eliminate council and elect the city manager, the finance director, the director of parks and rec, the director of public works and a few more. Have them elected every three years, and see if that changes anything. As it is the people we elect every three years, really don't know squat about running the city and rely on staff for direction all the time.


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