RE: Midland Implements Hiring Freeze, July 27/16, The Mirror
While Midland council’s decision to cut $1.5 million out of its operating budget in 2018 is cause for applause in some circles, I can’t help but wonder how there has been absolute silence over spending $523,447.34 for termination pay for 5 municipal staff positions in just a few months 2014/15 – most of these positions have been filled again.
And this figure is only one part of the total cost in the staff changing exercise as it does not include the termination package of the departed CAO, or $10,989.83 in legal costs, and a yet undetermined cost to the Town in salary and benefit continuances which are part of the negotiated packages. (This information was obtained under a Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act Request)
Cutting $1.5 million from Midland’s budget is akin to rolling the dice for the town. Austerity measures do not always promote growth or economic development; they just make the bottom line look better. In some cases, they have actually produced the exact opposite outcome.
I would applaud council’s efforts to curb spending if it were presented in a comprehensive, balanced plan rather than just a slash and burn exercise targeting the dedicated Town employees who serve us all well.
Lastly, KPMG who completed the most recent operational review during the previous council recommended attrition rather than terminations to deal with staffing levels.