City of Prince Rupert Employment

Hi All,

I’ve stayed pretty quiet on the subject of free rec centre passes but I’m very curious as to what the senior management of the city and their corporations are making these days. It may be a perception but there seems to be an awful lot of management types and contract consultant types at City Hall for a town that supposedly is still having financial woes.

At one time this was published information. Does anyone know when the last time the city published this?

I believe it was published in our local paper last year.  You could go to City Hall and receive this information as I believe it is public knowledge.
This is public money that the City is using by allowing employees and others free access to the pool.  It doesn’t sound like it is even a taxable benefit to City emploees.  I also hear it was offered to the RCMP and custom officers who I believe are Federal employees.  I don’t believe the RCMP accepted the offer.
This is a prime example of a conflict of interest when an employee uses
government property to pursue personal interests.
The City is saying it is not costing us anything.  I see it as lost revenue.
The Government of British Columbia believes that the highest standards of conduct among public service employees are essential to maintain and enhance the public’s trust and confidence in the public service.  Too bad the Mayor and Council has such a low standard of conduct when it comes to the public’s trust and confidence.

Is there a law or rule that says that any public employee that makes more than a certain amount per year has to make public their salary?

Yes, it is mandated by the Community Charter that every public servant who makes over $50,000 must be posted annually.  While we are on the topic, why are we spending x amount of dollars sending both Herb Pond and Gord Howie to Quebec for a Conference when it has very little benefit to our area. 

I get a bit pissed off when I see our roads closed and no money to pay for infrastructure, but we certainly can always find money to waste on the Mayor and his sidekick to travel around the Country…

And your taxes just went up… again.

Let’s hope people don’t forget all of this at election time. 

I’m certainly not forgetting come November. :imp:

Well where I come from the City Council works for the folk who put them in there place and yes they the citizens have a right to what is being spent. I have sat back and been looking at articles in the local rag as well as reading this format as a guest. Come to the point where I kind of think you folk are too patient or mislead. I heard today that this director of recreation who did everything for the free pass for city employees is soon to be moving into a higher seat in your city hall. What is this boy made of ? When are the elections in this here county?

Unfortunately, if you don’t have anyone willing to run again the Mayor, he will get in by acclamation.  It is time to start now by encouraging those who you believe who will be willing to step up to the plate to clean up the mess that Herb and this Council has let side for the past few years. Lets be honest here, we are a population of less than 12,000 people, but Herb is operating like a City of 50+.  It is finally time for the citizens of Prince Rupert to send a clear message to the Mayor.  When I opened my tax notice, I couldn’t avoid reading the message from the Mayor.  Not only does it insult our integrity, but it thinks that we are all stupid.  Give me a break Herb - taxes have not decreased in four years, do the calculations and compare your previous tax formulas and judge it for yourselves…

What is Pond going to Quebec for anyway? As for someone stepping up to bat against Pond, I heard Jack Musselum or even Kennedy may take him on.

Good guess on that one.  Yes, apparently they are trying to get rid of the Corporate Administrator, Doug Jay.  What I have been told is Mr. Jay knows to much about the corruption at City Hall so Gord Howie is trying to eliminate him.  Furthermore, I was told that Mr. Jay challenged both the Mayor and Gord Howie on Gord’s wife’s contract and the legality of it on, and now they want to pay him off (with our tax dollars) to shut him up. 

I heard there was a pretty dollar invested into her position. Does anyone know what the pay scales are in that White House setting?

I just went on and apparently 4 out of seven councillors are attending the meeting in Quebec.  For all of you listeners, the Federation of Municipal Convention is a waste of time, and does not for little City’s like Prince Rupert.  So, lets add up the dollars on this one.  4 members of Council and 1 Administrator off to Quebec for at least 5 days.  Lets take a guess how much that is costing us.  $10-15 thousand…

I really believe this number you figure would be much more and Herb seems to be the main spender of this community. Who will be acting mayor when this all goes down? We should all stand up in council chamber and be counted and listened to.

He will be back by the next council meeting, which is slated for next week.  Stay tuned and you here all the bullshit fly out of his mouth how productive this meeting was, and what great things are going to be coming to Rupert - like the shopping centre on the highway…

Guys and gals, when writing stuff on here, please make sure you don’t include any rumour or comment that could be considered libelous.  ie: if you don’t know something to be a fact, please don’t post it.

I’m all for politicking and debating, but slandering someone’s character without evidence is definitely not a good thing.

Also, though I am a great believer in anonymity, I’ve said this before:  when the court order shows up on my doorstep asking for the IP address of a comment, I’ll gladly hand it over.  So please don’t post anything here under the assumption that you are anonymous and immune from the law.

If you’ve written something above that could be considered libel, please go back and remove it. 

Firstly, where exactly is the spot on the city website that says 4 out of 7 councillors are at those fun meetings in Quebec (Ah spring in Quebec when a young councillors thoughts turn to spending money on junkets) I have scoured the thing and can’t find that particular item, (it’s not exactly jumping out at me) would be most interested in looking that one over just to see who gets to walk those fabled boardwalks in June…

Secondly, re-read Mig’s post about where you’re heading with this topic.  Bouncing around words like payoffs and corruption are great if you have a smoking gun, but without hard proof of any wrongdoing it’s a slippery slope you slide on… “eliminate him” brings up images of Tony Soprano taking out a rival in the waste disposal business… 

Just saying that you’ve heard such and such, isn’t quite the same as having the documentation of wrong doing in your hands and ready to be leaked…

That being said it would be interesting to learn of the sudden absence of Mr. Jay and what machinations are going on behind it, as well as what seems to be a culture of silence around city hall these days.

Though the idea of a city as broke as this one having anything left in a slush fund to actually pay anyone off, seems rather unlikely (where would you hide it, in a fire truck? a Ferry dock? or a bridge to the airport?).

Clearly though there are some things going on in the name of city governance that are attracting attention and seem to be calling out for a full audit and accountability session one would think…

I guess my curiousity has been raised as I’ve been poking around the UBCM website to try to get a feel for how efficient the city is being run by our senior bureaucrats and elected officials.

Based on the 2008 survey that each city / town sends in, Prince Rupert has the highest number of full time city employees in any city in the population range of 10,000 to 25,000. This is for a city with a reported population of 12,815. 

The irony of this is that even with the large number of senior employees in city hall, they have not returned their 2008 survey even though the majority of other jurisdictions have. One can speculate on whether this is more evidence of the culture of withholding information from the public or simply due to incompetence.

I agree with the posts that we need to be careful,  but you don’t have to look for rumours or gossip to see that our City has not come to grips with it’s budgetary position nor is it likely to given the type of leadership that we’ve seen over the past years under Herbie Houdini.

The table I’ve attached has been taken from surveys the local governments self report to UBCM. Anyone can follow this link to run their own comparisons. or to check my results.  It seems that no matter how you slice and dice the facts, the City of Prince Rupert is Highly taxed and in my opinion, poorly run.  High Taxes, crumbling infrastructure and second rate telecommunication facilities don’t attract business or people looking to invest or work.

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Amen, I have nothing to say but “I couldn’t have said that better”  :imp:

Very revealing chart that one is, thanks for posting it. Feel sorry for the eight Part timers, they must feel like their missing the gravy on the gravy train…

While I share most of your observations on the situation and the numbers seem to back up a fair amount of your opinion, still think that people should be careful when bouncing around terms like payoffs, eliminate and such. Until some solid proof is provided it’s just rampant speculation and anyone can throw out their own interpretations but without at least a small amount of proof it’s just rumour mongering.

Clearly though, your work has shown that there is a disconnect between what this council has brought forward in the last three years and perhaps what a community of this size and with the continuing struggles being faced truly need.

One thing is certain if indeed four members of council and a city manager have taken advantage of the week in Quebec then perhaps there needs to be some explaining from those that have gone on the trip.

What accomplishments to increase jobs and provide for a better city can be achieved by over half of council chowing down on poutine and maple sugar candies while drinking a nice light wine at a Quebec city sidewalk cafe…

Near as I can tell we’ve been sending politicians to all these dog and pony shows for years and yet we’re losing population and increasing taxes… somehow there seems to be little to show from their trips as it affects our day to day life in Prince Rupert. If maybe they can justify the juniket with some solid proff that it benefits the citizens of the city then maybe the heat won’t be quite so hot on the travelling team…

Good work on the charts and thought put into your positions, should make for an interesting debating topic here in the Herbzone…

Now Herbie Houdini has been heard to claim our residential tax rates are not that bad and has compared Prince Rupert’s financial management to that of Terrace. Perhaps a comparison to Smithers would be revealing?

Out of curiousity, I took a look for the comparative tax rates for Prince Rupert and was only able to locate the 2006 rates on the UBCM website. (Same Link as in my previous post)

Kinda interesting to look at the comparable rates per thousand dollars of assessed value. Based on all cities, districts, towns and villages in BC, our tax rates are amoung the highest in BC. Following is a list of the top 10 tax rates in BC. (Hint- Look near the top for Prince Rupert).

Municipal Tax Rates (2006)
Name           Residential Tax Rate
Granisle             31.23
New Hazelton      11.61
Stewart           11.34
Zeballos           11.16
Greenwood         11.15
Tahsis           10.68
Prince Rupert      10.40  
Masset               9.38
Prince George      9.28
Cranbrook           8.91

For Comparison the Cities of Terrace and Smithers rates were as follows;

Terrace              8.52
Smithers             6.58

(By the way Herb, Terrace charges $120 per year and Smithers charges $123.81 per year versus the $276 per year that Prince Rupert homeowners paid for garbage collection. In addition Terrace does not charge for residential garbage delivered to their landfill by homeowners. Smithers doesn’t report whether they charge for tipping fees). I wonder if Terrarce has a Wantage Road type of problem?