This just in from the Keeping Track of City Hall department. Actually, the information was released a couple of weeks ago, but, you know, sometimes we’re a little slow on the uptake. For the record – in 2015, the first full year with Lyn Hall as mayor, the City of Prince George had 921 people on the payroll. Of those, 272 made more than $75,000 per year and 649 made under $75,000 per year for a total wage bill of just under $2.5 million. Surprisingly, or perhaps not, it’s not much of a change compared to the previous year when the city employed 916 people with 244 making more than $75,000 and 672 making less than $75,000 for a total wage bill of $2.36 million. So, about 30 more people making more than $75,000 per year and about 25 fewer people making under the 75K mark. Is that a good thing? Or a bad thing? It should be noted that former city manager Beth James is on the 75K+ mark, collecting a salary of $192,858 and $10,586 in expenses in 2015, even though she and the city ‘parted ways’ in January. That, of course, was her lovely parting gift. It should also be noted that in 2015 the city dissolved Initiatives Prince George and moved economic development in-house. That created three new positions at city hall, so when looking at the overall number of people employed, (921 in 2015 compared to 916 in 2014), half of the difference can be attributed to the decision to fold IPG. The debate whether bringing IPG in-house will certainly surface again. However, it seems that it was a phone call from Hall that got the ball rolling on the Riverbend Seniors Community project under construction behind Gateway. They had apparently looked here before, but couldn’t make things work until Hall got involved. That will be a nice little ace up his sleeve in the economic development debate. But back to the staffing numbers – the fears of some that a Hall-led city hall would result in a burgeoning bureaucracy are unfounded. The number of employees at the city has remained relatively static, the ratio of those making over 75K to those making less has increased slightly and the overall wage cost has also increased slightly. There’s always room for improvement; staffing costs could have decreased. But at least we can take solace in that they haven’t ballooned under the new administration.
City staffing numbers remain static in 2015