It was a tough day at city hall Monday as four city
workers were given notice they’ll be losing their jobs.
Another two positions will be eliminated through
retirement and one vacant post won’t be filled.
The seven job cuts were part of an organization
shakeup at city hall that was anticipated.
Chief administration officer Chris MacPherson was
appointed to his post with a mandate to take a look at the city’s organization
structure and groom it for the years to come. It’s the first reorganization in
14 years and the first major job loss at city hall since the city’s
amalgamation in 1973.
There was a job cut in the city administrator’s
office, one from legal, two from human resources, one from tourism, one from
community services, and there’s an administration position in the police
department that won’t be filled.
“We felt those positions were surplus to our needs,”
Fredericton Police Chief Barry MacKnight retires at
the end of this week, but his post can’t be left vacant. Under the Police Act,
the municipality must rehire for that job. Deputy police chief Leanne Fitch
will be acting chief until a job competition is held and a candidate is hired.
“The process will be laid out in the next month or two
in terms of how that will progress,” MacPherson said.
“We are in good shape right now, but we’re kind of
looking to the future and we know our growth will slow down somewhat, so we’re
just trying to change structurally to make those changes now before we have to.
This was strictly about restructuring and regrouping,” he said.
MacPherson said he has grouped departments that work
together. Building inspection and bylaw enforcement, for instance, becomes part
of the a public safety department working alongside police and fire
departments. Departments that sell the city and economic development and
quality of life will be grouped together.
The number of city departments will be cut from seven
Human resources director Joe Lumsden retires at the
end of August and some of his workload will be shifted to the finance
department. Services to employees, advice, hiring and training will be a
MacPherson talked to council, the business community
and consulted internally with senior staff.
“A lot of the suggestions came from our own staff that
wanted to see some changes. After 14 years it was time for some change and
people expected some change,” he said.
While he tried to cushion the changes by turning to
retirement and attrition, at the end of the day, four people will lose jobs.
MacPherson said departing employees will be offered
counselling assistance and will receive legislated benefits and any retirement
allowance to which they’re entitled.
“It’s tough. I’d like to think that the city was
compassionate,” he said.
Woodside said MacPherson is fulfilling the mandate he
was given to review and restructure.
“Today was unlike any that I’ve experienced because it
was a good day and a not good day. I believe with all my heart in what Mr.
MacPherson has done. He was hired not to just deliver the status quo ... I
think this municipality has to retool, reorganized, be lean, be efficient.
We’re dealing with taxpayer dollars and we have to give them the best bang for
their buck and that’s precisely what we’re doing ... This is the right thing to
do,” Woodside said.
The restructuring will streamline municipal
government, improve how citizens receive services and meet the city’s needs
into the future, Woodside said.
The city will now have the following departments:
finance and administration;
• engineering and operations;
• community planning and development;
• public safety;
information, improvement and innovation;
• and strategic direction and internal consulting.
The finance and administration department will be
responsible for the city’s pension file. Purchasing, payroll and real estate
divisions will move to the department under director Tina Tapley. Alicia
Keating becomes the new assistant director, with responsibility for the new
financial strategy division.
Fire and police services will now come under the new
department of public safety, which will include the safety and bylaw
enforcement division. Wayne Tallon becomes director of the new department.
Fredericton Transit, parking services, fleet, and
property services will become part of the engineering and operations department
under director Murray Jamer, who was also recently appointed assistant chief
The new department of information, improvement and
innovation will handle information technology, the 9-1-1 communications centre,
internal communications and innovation projects. Maurice Gallant becomes the
director of this department.
Jane Blakely is the director of the new department of strategic direction and internal consulting. The department will include strategic planning and consulting under assistant director Alex Forbes, along with sustainability and labour relations and staffing divisions.
The new department of community planning and development, under director Frank Flanagan, will include recreation and social facilitation; parks and trees; community planning; and building inspection.
The new tourism, economic development and external communications division, under assistant director David Seabrook, will include tourism, sport tourism, culture, economic development, and external communications.
The new structure becomes effective July 15, although MacPherson said it will take several months to fully implement. A transition team will be formed to facilitate the changes.
Welcome to my Blog. I am the four term Councillor for beautiful and prosperous Ward 3, having first been elected in 2001, and again in 2004, 2008 and May 14, 2012.
Ward 3 is on the northside of Fredericton (the majestic Saint John River carves the city into equal north/south components). For those familair with our city, the approximate Ward 3 boundaries are: the Saint John River to the south, St. Mary's 1st Nation/Cliffe Street to the east, Brookside Drive to the west and the city limits/Killarney Lake to the north.
In my intial two terms, I was asked to co-chair the massive rewrite and public hearing process for Fredericton's new Municipal Plan. I also served two years as the Citys' Deputy Mayor; two years as Chair of the Development Services Committee, and as the inaugural Chair of the City of Fredericton Affordable Housing Committee.
In the third term, I had the honor of serving as Chair; Finance & Administration Committee for three years, Chair; City of Fredericton Pension Board for three year and continued as Chair of the Affordable Housing Committee
In this fourth term, I have been appointed Chair of Community Services, which encompasses recreation, liesure services, sports & facilites, parks and trees, and senior's issues. I am also serving as Chair of the labour/management contract Negotiaitons Committee, also as Chair of the City Employee's SuperAnnuation (pension) Board, and again, as Affordable Housing Chair
Please feel free to contact me at: email@example.com; or at Fredericton City Hall, PO Box 130, Fredericton, NB, Canada, E3B 4Y7 (506) 460-2020