Mayor James Baker of the District of Lake Country has responded to what he calls “disturbing and untrue misinformation” published in the Vernon Morning Star on Friday by a former District employee.
Responding to a letter sent by Randy Rose, former Lake Country chief administrative officer, to local media outlets, the Mayor stated that Rose’s letter was “dead wrong”.
Rose stated the district has “wasted a million dollars” and “set this community back ten years” due to a reorganization approved by Council.
“The allegation of waste is a ridiculous and defamatory assertion. The cost of terminating the two employees under this restructure is far, far less, and will be off-set promptly by economies and new procedures. Rose’s comments are unprofessional, and based on rumours and innuendos, not facts," says Baker.
“The purpose of the reorganization is to streamline municipal services for residents and developers, while realizing substantial savings for the taxpayers. Council adopted the reorg. measures, with net savings to taxpayers of $230,000 annually, after two days of debate and after considering expert reports.”
Baker went on to say some of the savings can now be spent on road capital projects, a priority of council.
The current council and administration inherited an infrastructure deficit and serious operational problems from the time of Rose’s administration, says the mayor, and the current council and administration are taking action, including the current reorganization, to make the government more productive and cost-effective at the same time.
Baker added that he believes Rose learned of the details of the reorganization due to a leak from an In Camera meeting, and this is a breach of provincial laws intended to protect employees and employers during restructures.
Recent court cases have stressed the importance of this process and the Courts have indicated that RCMP can investigate these matters.
Responding to the other claims made by Rose, Baker says that building inspections will not slow down, as the Chief Building Inspector will be assisted by a professional Plan Checker to expedite the approval process.
“Numerous developers and contractors have expressed satisfaction with the change in culture,” says Mayor Baker, “and we have received positive feedback about procedure streamlining from the public as well.”
Rose made his comments to Lake Country Council a week ago.