Statement on Anonymous Advertisements
August 15, 2017
Statement from Courtenay Mayor Larry Jangula:
Open discussion, debate and deliberation are essential in a healthy democracy, and I am very proud to participate in the democratic process at the City of Courtenay.
We recognize the importance of this process and freedom of speech. We also believe it is important to correct the public record from time to time so that our community has accurate and timely information.
That’s why we have established this new page on our website. Our goal is to identify and correct any incorrect information, and help set the record straight. While we will continue to provide information to our citizens through the media and our social media, there are times when additional clarification is needed.
This has been the case recently with some anonymous ads that contain incorrect statements about some members of City Council and senior staff. As a result, here are a few examples of incorrect information we wish to clarify and correct, for the record.
Conference Attendance Incorrect
A newspaper ad that ran on June 15, incorrectly stated that City of Courtenay CAO David Allen attended the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Conference, along with some members of Council.
In fact, Mr. Allen did not attend the FCM Conference. Mr. Allen was invited to speak at the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA) Conference on the City’s asset management practices, and how we manage our infrastructure and our assets for the benefit of our current and future citizens. The CAMA conference is held annually in advance of the FCM Conference. As an invited speaker, the majority of Mr. Allen’s expenses for the trip were paid for by FCM, not the City of Courtenay.
Staffing and Services
A previous newspaper ad on May 18 provided incorrect information, stating that the number of employees at the City of Courtenay has grown to over 50 management staff in 2017.
In fact, the City of Courtenay has 31 managerial staff, with three to be added in 2017.
With regard to salaries, each year, all local governments in British Columbia release information on staff that earned over $75,000 in the previous year. Being included on this list does not necessarily mean these employees are management. For example, some staff surpassed this threshold due to overtime and standby hours worked. Public safety issues such as snowstorms and flood alerts, or emergency utility repairs such as water main breaks, are examples of situations that may result in overtime.
The City of Courtenay bases employee compensation on several factors, including fair market rates offered by other comparable local governments as well as contractual obligations with unionized employees. The City employs around 180 full-time, part-time, and casual employees. If we include summer students, volunteer firefighters, and instructors at Courtenay Recreation, this number increases to over 300.
For the Record
If you have questions about something you have read or heard, we will do our best to provide clarification or corrections that may be required on this new For the Record page.
And as always, I encourage citizens looking for information about the City of Courtenay to visit our website, to contact their Council representatives or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org