Perks issue keeps coming to the top of the election pile

Those controversial free passes to the Recreation Centre and Earl Mah Aquatic centre granted to city employees continue to make the hot list of election issues it seems.

The ongoing debate over the merit of rewarding employees on the civic payroll with extra benefits seems to have become one of the driving items of the current election campaign…

(from  the blog a town called podunk, click on the link below to see the entire article … 4259634265 )-

Am I misunderstanding something or is Cory Hoff off base with his comments about Mussallem?  His letter seems to indicate that Jack was against the perks although I am of the impression that Jack was in favour of them.  Am I wrong?

When he first announced his intentions he said that he was concerned about a number of things on the local scene.

"Mussallem listed several concerns he has about the way the city has been run since the last municipal election, citing issue that are of concern to him going into this year’s election.

He noted that the direct awarding of contracts; problems with the city’s accounting and the various alleged perks offered to city employees; and other ways the city accounts have been handled were key issues.

“People believe most of the city staff are doing a good job but everyone would like a free recreation pass and that’s just not possible,” said Mussallem. "

So it would appear that on Oct 10 he was against the idea of perks and I haven’t heard anything recently to suggest he’s changed his opinion on that. 

(from  the blog a town called podunk, click on the link below to see the entire article … 1577163371 )-

Thanks for clearing that up.  Any idea what Jamie Stephens was all worked up about then?

I don’t see why they attack recreation membership but don’t attack health benefits or severence pay–Cory Hoff, just like the rest of the population, is welcome to apply for a job with the City. I don’t get it. :S

LOL, well uh no, if I could divine what all the letter writers to the Daily News really meant i suspect I could set up a pretty nice little practice downtown with a fancy office and real nice view.

I gather he seems to think that Jack Mussallem was some kind of soft office worker or something, didn’t actually ever see the original letter so I’m not too sure what he’s basing his assumptions on.

At any rate, he seems to have misread the situation there, which was answered back by Mr. Mussallem in his own letter, which then provided for another blast from Stephens…

Nice sideshow but not sure where it all actually leads to!

I agree.  It’s my understanding that these perks were offered to the city workers without them seeking it and that not many of them are using them.  Any inside info from a pool employee? :smiley:

As for the Jamie Stephens letter, I think that his misunderstanding may have caused me to misunderstand Jack’s view on the issue.

The pool employees use the passes quite often, for obvious reasons. I can’t remember the number, but out of 100ish full-time employees, a good fraction had used their passes at least once–and we’re only in the first year.

All the research shows that providing employees with the means to stay in shape saves money in the long run because the employees, generally, remain healthier.

Obviously the passes might not be used by every full-time employee–but that’s to be expected. We’re still within the first year of this policy–it will take at least a full year to get a good idea of how popular the passes are… and much longer than a year to start seeing the savings of money.

The way I see it, the passes are revenue neutral. It doesn’t cost the tax payer any extra to provide the employees with the passes themselves–all the facilities are in place. It’s not like this is a private gym and the tax payers actually have to help pay the bill. Hopefully, eventually the City will be able to redistribute money they would have spent on health benefits, sick leave, and similar things and spend it in other areas of need.

Thanks for your input.  I would think that the passes may even create revenue as employees with pool passes may be more inclined to go and may actually bring someone with them whether it be a friend, spouse or kids.

That’s a good point I forgot–many of the Dads, and perhaps some Moms, are buying passes for their kids as well. One of the local RCMP comes to mind–during the summer he was coming in regularely with his daughters and wife. A few labourers come to mind as well… Good point.