Filling up on managers

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So, St. John’s Mayor Dennis O’Keefe wants to have five new deputy city managers, which he says will not come with an appreciable cost to the city.

Yet I seem to remember that when Andy Wells was mayor, he said we did not need a city manager, that he would do that job as well as that of mayor, making his position full time, which would entail a salary increase, the exact amount of which I cannot remember, but at the time the mayor’s salary was raised to $75,000, or thereabouts. (I stand to be corrected as to the exact amount.)

Then along comes Mr. O’Keefe, who reinstated the city manager position and who later created a new public relations officer position.

He did not, as I recall, take a cut in pay with the appointment of the manager.

Now the five new deputy manager positions come on the heels of property tax increases, along with a water tax in excess of $600 annually — water that we are allowed to use outside in our yards only for a couple of hours twice weekly.

“We must conserve our precious water supply” — so says the mayor, whose benefits include a gold-plated, non-

contributory pension plan and whose present salary is now in the vicinity of $100,000.

I just wish he would conserve the spending of our tax dollars. Five new deputy managers, indeed.

For a city with a population of just more than 100,000 souls. Isn’t there something wrong with this picture?


Sally Lou S. Le Messurier

St. John’s

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Recent comments

  • John
    May 07, 2013 - 06:21

    Spending by the city council is out of control,I would suggest ALL taxpayers start looking at the agenda, in it you will find what they are spending money on.From $13000 for a dinner at energy cities meeting ,$7000 for membership in same,several thounsend for two staffer to tour Toronto, $1500 for a meet and greet At an MNL meeting ,after 31/2 years you'd think they would know one another! Mr mayor tell us just how much each of these directors are going to make ,salary and All other beniefits.Perhaps it is time to publish all senior staff salaries

  • Maggy Carter
    May 06, 2013 - 11:45

    Yes, we have a mayor who is out of control. O'Keefe views the taxpayers of this city as a very accommodating, inexhaustible source of cash to entertain his every whim - whether it's erecting half-million dollar fences, buying parking spaces from downtown developers, or padding the bill for municipal management at a time other governments are cutting back. A few days ago, an elderly widow on a fixed income told me that her east end home which had an assessed value of $150,000 only ten years ago was this year re-assessed at almost a half-million. How can ordinary people keep up with such a blatant cash grab by Mr. O'Keefe and his fellow pirates on council? I am anxious to vote him out of office, but first I'd like an unequivocal assurance from Ms. O'Leary or any other contender that she intends to reel-in the free spending habits of city hall. It should be mandatory that all candidates for city hall first read the City of St. John's Act. The act is pretty straight forward. For example, it does not permit donations to foreign countries like Haiti, it does not allow for studies on amalgamation with neighbouring municipalities that want nothing to do with amalgamation, and it does not sanction taxpayer subsidization of federal crown agencies like the St. John's Port Authority. I'd like to see city hall confine itself to core functions like snow clearing, garbage collection, and water & sewer services - all things it rates poorly on despite outspending many other Canadian cities of its size.

    • rok
      May 06, 2013 - 12:13

      Maggy you could also be addressing the mayor and councillors of CBS with your comments. In the last election one councillor promised an independent audit of the books. Never happened and word is he'll challenge the current travelling salesman for the job. Similar to the O'Keefe/Ellsworth choice St. John's had in the last election you were damned if you did and damned if you didn't. Looks like we're stuck in the samed boat this time around.

    • Christopher chafe
      May 06, 2013 - 12:20

      I certainly hope it also does not allow for stupid studies on new arts facilities as well.

    • Jay
      May 06, 2013 - 18:06

      To Maggy - Well said. This Council, with Doc as its leader, has shown a total disregard for the electorate of St. John's Almost every decision he now makes is for his own glorification. The man is no longer interested in administring a city. He is now looking for his place in history. I wish others had your understanding of how a council should operate.

    • PETER L
      May 09, 2013 - 13:50

      @ROK, check your facts, CBS has an independant audit done every year, as per the Municipalities Act. Where do you get your information? I suggest you change informants.

  • Tony Rockel
    May 06, 2013 - 10:27

    To look at the property taxes in St John's, one would get the impression that the city councillors think they're in New York.