City of Victoria employees can look forward to a refreshed office space.
In a committee of the whole meeting, council voted to put forward $125,000 for office renovations and equipment purchases for 34 new employees.
The positions include an asset management technician, disability coordinator, talent specialist, a planning secretary, a secretary of legislative services, a development services planner, and a parks planner and legal staff. Some of these roles are temporary, and hired for specific projects, such as the bike lanes.
Office expenditures would cover “office reconfiguration,” and office equipment including cellphones, desks and computers.
Coun. Geoff Young was opposed to that amount of spending, and to the high staff increase.
“I think it’s striking how many new staff we are bringing on in central research functions… I had some concerns with the addition of staff for the bike master plan, but at least those people are implementing actual capital projects. A lot of the people that council has decided to bring on are in planning functions, some that are duplicating work that’s being done elsewhere,” Young said.
“[We ] maybe want to rethink some of our priorities in terms of this very significant increase in terms of city hall staff in a time when some of our other functions are being cut back.”
Helps argued that the initial investments and spending put forward by city council this year will pave the way for the rest of the four-year term.
“My feeling is that we’re at the beginning of the term and we’re building the foundation of this year ,” Helps said. “This is going to be the base to help us achieve what we want to achieve and what our residents want us to achieve. I think it’s completely reasonable especially since we’re staying within the target that we set for ourselves.”
The funding for the renovations will come from the city’s building and infrastructure reserve.
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