Sunday April 20, 2014

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This is getting out of hand



As we enter the Christmas season, the staffing woes at the District of Sechelt are anything but peace on Earth.

On Dec. 14, public works superintendent Phil Strain tendered his resignation, bringing to seven the number of staff who have left under Mayor Hendersonís brief time in office. Two departed with substantial negotiated severance packages, five for their own reasons.

People change jobs from time to time, fair enough, but given the Districtís modest employee roster, the quantum of the departures is significantly disproportionate. They have negatively impacted the functioning of the District, hollowing out critical capacity with remaining staff too few to pick up the workload and lacking the full depth of skills of departed staff.†

If this was normal turnover, one would reasonably expect a line-up of qualified applicants relatively equal to the quantum of the departures, but this is not happening.

Mayor Henderson defends this extraordinary turnover as the logical outcome of making change, but this is getting out of hand. There is an old saying that you have to break a few eggs to make an omelette, but frankly, this looks more like hash!

Go to any business school and first day, first class you will learn that the tone and spirit of any organization starts with the top leadership. At some point, Henderson has to start taking responsibility for what appears to be a one-way exodus of experienced District staff, people who have performed well on behalf of past councils and residents alike. At some point the people who put Henderson in office have to start wondering whatís first prize? Some of us already are!

Jef Keighley, Halfmoon Bay



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