City hall gets green light for more staff

There might be some new faces at City Hall this year.

That’s because City Councilors have approved, in principle, four new staff positions for 2010.

In 2009, each city department examined its staffing requirements and made a request for additional personnel to Manager of Human Resources.

Most of the positions were approved in 2009 by City Councilors. At Monday night’s City Council meeting, Councilors granted approval for the city to fill two of those positions; a recreation attendant and a Planner.

City Manager Dianne Hunter says some of the wages will be offset by savings.

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For example, the salary of the Planner is anticipated to be $102,000. But, the City expects the in-house planner will streamline work within the Planning and Engineering department, and reduce consultant-contract fees by $70,000. In theory, that means the city’s costs will only increase by $32,000 for the Planner position.

In 2009, the city approved $438,000 of the requested $603,000 staffing adjustments. Since then, the City has filled some of those position. City Councilors needed to approve an increase of $165,000 on Monday night.

But Fort St. John Mayor Bruce Lantz says Councilors should take the 2010 budget into consideration.

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City Councilors voted unanimously to approve, in principle, the 2010 Staffing Plan. This includes the planner position, a part-time recreation attendant at $10,000, a Health and Safety/Emergency Planning Officer at $80,000, and a Network Support Technician at $68,000.

Lantz says the City won’t pull the plug on positions that are currently filled, but City Councilors do have the wiggle room to cut or scale down the newly approved positions.