‘Concerned’ locals at council meeting

Staff turnover, council’s handling of CAO’s absence among concerns

A couple of community members attended a Village of Burns Lake council meeting last week to voice their concerns and ask questions.

One of the local residents used the public comment period at the beginning of the meeting to voice her concerns.

“I would like to publicly state that I am deeply concerned about the number of village staff that ceased employment with the municipality, and specially with village council’s handling of the CAO’s absence,” said the local resident to council.

Most recently, the village has filled the positions of chief financial officer and city clerk with new employees. However, the village is still in the process of hiring a new director of recreation.

And with regard to the chief administrative officer’s (CAO) absence, the local resident was referring to council’s decision to appoint a different staff member every two weeks to fulfill the CAO duties while Sheryl Worthing was away.

RELATED: Burns Lake council bans CAO from a regular duty

At the end of the council meeting, the same resident used the public question period to ask Burns Lake Mayor Chris Beach to provide an overview of the last ‘breakfast with the mayor’ event. She also asked him how well the event was attended and what kind of feedback he received.

The breakfast with the mayor event was held on Oct. 5, 2017, at 7:30 a.m. at the Heritage Centre.

“I think the fact that it’s early in the morning, we are never going to get a really large turnout, but it’s been roughly 13, 15 people,” said Mayor Beach.

The mayor then asked CAO Worthing to explain to the local resident what was discussed during the event.

“I’m sorry, I had a long week, can you refresh my memory?” he asked Worthing.

Worthing then provided a detailed explanation to the local resident.

“Typically the mayor will pick a topic or two – either based on things that are happening or requests from people in the community; in this one we talked about people’s priorities as we move into the 2018 budget season,” explained Worthing.

“We got lots of good feedback, requests for council to look into upgrading the band shelter at Spirit Square for acoustic reasons; there were a few people there who were passionate about that and wanted to use that facility as the entertainer, not as the spectator,” continued Worthing. “We had a good conversation about that.”

“We also had a good conversation about climate action, roads and streets, we talked about Eighth Avenue a little bit and where council is as far as infrastructure plans; we had a quick breakfast and then we do a roundtable where people make comments to the mayor; it lasts for about an hour.”

“We can certainly put you on the invite list if you’re interested in attending the next one,” added Worthing. “We probably won’t have another one until January.”

Mayor Beach then jokingly said, “Excellent review.”

The local resident thanked them for the explanation.

All community members are allowed to attend regular council meetings, make comments at the beginning of these meetings and ask questions to council at the end.



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