Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Curious phrasing at Council meeting makes for curiosity on staffing situation at City Hall

A change in senior staff members was observed by
one council member as part of Monday's council session

Some back and forth on a discussion towards a proposed Code of Conduct for Prince Rupert City Council could have inadvertently made for a headline moment from Monday's session, with comments from the night which suggested that a follow up to City Staff was in order. 

The curious phrasing from the night coming from Councillor Barry Cunningham who seemed to indicate that some additional work loads are now in place when it comes to the duties of Senior City staff.

In a discussion that could be somewhat compared to the classic Abbott and Costello comedy piece Who's on First, Mr. Cunningham's line of commentary when taken from the conversation of Monday seemed to telegraph to the public that there had been a changing of the guard in the City Manager's office.

"At the same time, it being the middle of the summer, the end of a pandemic coning, the extra load on our City Manager when she is now doing dual jobs and that, I think the timing is a little off, I'd like to give her more time, as much time as she needs for this because I just right now I think our staff as we discussed in other meetings is flat out with a lot of things and this is just another feather to the load" -- Councillor Barry Cunningham

Councillor Barry Cunningham
appears to have delivered breaking
news on staffing at City Hall
The note of the City Manager's  post now being held by a female staff member who holds two positions, would appear to be an indication that it was either CFO Corinne Bomben or Corporate Administrator Rosa Miller who had been placed at the top of the city's depth chart. 

Though as the discussion moved forward, both Councillor Blair Mirau and Mayor Lee Brain referenced the office holder of City Manager by way of a male gender, which would seem to be a reference to Mr. Long.

'I should clarify, I don't think I've put a deadline for reporting back, that was the reason I had the conversation with the City Manager in advance because I didn't want to be overburdening anyone ... I'm not asking him to reinvent the wheel ...  the City Manager didn't voice of those concerns to me in our conversation though I shouldn't speak for him because he isn't in the room -- Councillor Blair Mirau

You can review the discussion from the City's Video Archive starting at the 45 minute mark.

To help find some clarity on the staffing situation at City Hall, we made an enquiry of the Corporate Administrator earlier today seeking out any further information, or an announcement related to any potential change to the most Senior staff position. 

In reply the City's Corporate Administrator Rosa Miller offered up some details on the current work arrangement at City Hall.

"I can see how the comments might be a bit confusing. I believe Councillor Cunningham was referring to the fact that I am currently Acting City Manager in light of the fact that our City Manager, Dr. Long, is on holiday for a couple weeks. Dr. Long is very much still the City Manager and will be returning to that capacity after his holiday." 

So for now it would seem the succession planning is on hold at City Hall, though at some point in the future one imagines there will be an announcement from the City of Prince Rupert and its City Council should the day arrive where retirement for Dr. Long beckons and a new hand takes charge in the City Manager's office.

For more notes from the Monday Council session see our archive page here.

A wider overview of past Council themes is available from our Council discussion archive.

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