West Kelowna Mayor Gord Milsom is asking city council to reconsider all the new municipal positions approved during last month's budget deliberations.
All the full-time equivalent staffing positions approved but not filled in 2020, and those given the green light for 2021, should be put on hold, Milsom says.
Under the Community Charter, a mayor can ask for a reconsideration of any matter at the same meeting, or within 30 days of that meeting.
The other councillors do not have to agree to the reconsideration, but there would be a vote again on the question of whether to approve the previous plan to hire new staff.
Milsom's suggestion is that council direct municipal managers to bring back a revised staffing plan at the Jan. 19 meeting.
In December, city council gave preliminary approval to a 2021 budget that calls for $767,543 in funding for new full-time equivalent positions.
Eight new positions were proposed: bylaw officer ($109,000); engineering tech, ($90,000); police services assistant ($82,000); relief mechanic ($65,000); intermediate accounting clerk ($85,000); communications advisor ($109,000); part-time human resources assistant ($34,000); RCMP officer ($153,000).
All of these positions were to be funded by taxation.
As well, when council pared back the 2020 municipal tax because of COVID-19, $344,370 that had been budgeted for new-hires was put on hold and the positions were not filled.
These positions included a parks maintenance operator ($82,000); a lawnmowing crew ($28,000); GIS co-ordinator ($105,000); and roads and drainage foreman ($105,000).
in mid-2020, documents presented to council showed the City of West Kelowna had 259 full-time employees. Ninety-eight of them made more than $75,000 the previous year.
On its website, the City of West Kelowna touts these kinds of advantages in working for the municipality: "Forget the long commute. Kayak or walk on the waterfront at sunrise, put in an honest day's work, and still have plenty of time for a bike ride or round of golf before sunset. . . We know a few people who commute from the campground, put in a full shift, and are back at the RV barbecuing burgers by the beach at half past five!"