LETTER: What are upfront costs of restructuring?

I read with interest your report of jobs being cut by the City of Abbotsford resulting in an anticipated savings of $1.25 million annually.

My wife and I read with interest your report of jobs being cut by the City of Abbotsford resulting in an anticipated savings of $1.25 million annually.

Your report indicated these savings were to come from efficiencies resulting from amalgamation of services, restructuring in reporting lines, etc.

It is encouraging that city manager George Murray reports that of the seven people leaving, “the majority have been given working notice, and therefore, severance payments are not required.

As far as this goes, this is good news for Abbotsford taxpayers, however, there are a few disturbing points raised in your reporting. When asked about others perhaps requiring possible severance, Murray declined to disclose details of compensation, or if anyone was terminated with cause.

As well, there was mention that the general manager of economic development and general manager of finance recently left their top positions at city hall. Again, Murray declined to comment on their departures, whether severance would be paid, and whether they left voluntarily.

There was also mention of the creation of a new position of a deputy city manager position, and one is left to wonder whether his or her salary will be covered within the reported annual savings of $1.25 million.

More and more Canadians are concerned about transparency in all levels of government, and it is unacceptable when the city manager simply refuses to discuss whether Abbotsford taxpayers will be faced with upfront costs resulting from the restructuring. Your headline, “City jobs cut, $1M-plus saved,” may or may not be telling the whole story.

Hopefully, a more complete picture will be forthcoming.

Stan and Greta Kenward

Abbotsford

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