January 13, 2014 - 4:49 PM
"WE'VE REALLY HURT THESE PEOPLE."
SUMMERLAND - Mayor Janice Perrino is upset by the eight jobs cut at the District of Summerland but argues they were absolutely necessary.
The staffing changes announced Monday will save about $500,000 this year. The savings are something the community sorely needs Perrino said, but added in doing so, council just created financial uncertainty for several families.
"This is what ruins people's lives for months and months," Perrino said. "We've really hurt these people."
A public works secretary, engineering technician, groundsman truck driver and water supply technician were all laid off.
"These are good staffers that we are laying off," Perrino said. "It is not their fault. I really want to say that. They are good people. This is nothing for us to be proud of but we have to get the budget in line."
Three other positions, two of them vacant, will not be refilled. These are the deputy fire-chief and recreation and parks director. The works and utilities superintendent position will be empty when the employee retires at the end of January.
Perrino said it's not all bad news. The position of information system co-ordinator was cut, but that employee will now be the GIS/data base technician. The manager of financial services position was added back.
Even with the job cuts Perrino expects a two per cent tax increase and no major projects for the foreseeable future.
"All we are just trying to do is maintain levels," she said. "We can't afford to do anything else right now. We have no income."
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