Council okays environmental sustainability coordinator position

By David F. Rooney

They cut back on the salary they’re willing to pay, but in the end City Council decided Tuesday that it will go ahead and hire an environmental sustainability coordinator this year.

It was apparent that all councillors, meeting as a Committee of the Whole, wanted to create the part-time position but they didn’t want to offer it out at $75,000. So they decided the City would be willing to pay a qualified candidate to a maximum of $60,000.

“We don’t need a David Suzuki to do this job,” said Councillor Phil Welock, adding that the City could no doubt find someone qualified who would be willing to do it for $60,000.

As Councillor Chris Johnston put it: “Part of their job should be ensuring they won’t have a job in the future.”

And therein lies the major problem that Councillors have with the creation of this position. They do not want a position that could evolve into yet another high-procd bureaucratic position and, perhaps, department.

Council also accepted a list of 12 tasks for the environmental sustainability coordinator from Community Economic Development Director Alan Mason. They include creating a greenhouse gas inventory and forecast, providing the city’s vehicle fleet with a strategy to reduce expenses and GHG emissions and producing a strategy to ban cosmetic pesticides.