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Three new town positions approved

Masha Scheele

Council approved a $72,477 increase to resources for the remainder of 2019 for three new administrative positions. 

“I think it’s an investment into our community. We’ve seen an increase in requests made by the community, whether it be bylaw services or maintenance services,” said Coun. Trevor Haas during the special meeting of council on July 30 when the positions were approved.

Mayor Marcel Michaels followed up with a question about when a conversation can be had regarding council’s expectations of levels of service.

CAO Martin Taylor responded, “The best time to do that is during budget presentations when each department head will present their budgets. We’re commencing a low level service level review.”

With the absence of Coun. JoAnn Race, Coun. Dewly Nelson, and Coun. Ryan Maguhn, the positions were approved unanimously. 

“Having a recent organizational review showed that these were some of the limitations that our organization was feeling. I’ll support this.

When budget time comes this will have an impact on future decisions for 2020,” concluded Michaels.

In Nov. 2018, MNP and the CAO conducted an Organizational Efficiency and Effectiveness Review, which was completed on May 10.

The review showed the Town had insufficient resources to support several objectives defined in the 2018-2021 Strategic Plan prompting the increase to resources for the remainder of 2019.

At the start of 2019, Hinton administration had 92 full, part time, seasonal, and casual positions. 

Many of these positions are vacant at times, and employees flow between positions and part and full time hours, according to a statement by the town HR department. 

Two new full time positions were created earlier in 2019 and approved through the 2019 budget process including the EDO and parks lead hand.

Within administration, position titles and numbers change quite frequently in response to the town’s levels of service, but the budget is infrequently exceeded, read the statement.

The Town fluctuates between 160 to 180 employees, which include full time equivalents, part time and casual employees, added Emily Olsen, communications and strategic advisor, but some of these casual employees only work three hours per week.