The District of Peachland seen from the skies over Highway 97. (Contributed)

The District of Peachland seen from the skies over Highway 97. (Contributed)

Peachland council approves $85K for new hire

The ‘special projects coordinator’ will provide support for the district’s planning department

The District of Peachland has approved creating a new position that will cost the district $85,037 a year.

During the Committee of the Whole meeting on March 23, Peachland’s director of operations, Darin Schaal, outlined the new position, which will address shortfalls in various departments.

The special projects coordinator has three areas they will need to fulfill, with two main areas they need to focus on: special projects management and climate commitments.

The goal of creating the position is to increase the district’s planning and development services department’s capacity, which will allow the department to focus on other projects as well.

Some of the duties the special projects coordinator will include the following, among many others:

  • Project management for special projects and assignments
  • Emergency response planning and management
  • Procurement
  • Foreshore permitting
  • Archaeological permitting
  • Long-range planning
  • Community Energy and Emissions Plan development and implementation
  • Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission liaison role

Before receiving approval, the position was not without criticism.

Coun. Terry Condon said he understands that district staff need extra hands, but he wasn’t convinced the special projects coordinator is what they need.

“To me, it’s too much of a mishmash in terms of skillsets required and the task list that’s been shown,” he said.

CAO Joe Mitchell said it’s not about finding an individual who has the variety of skillsets they’re looking for, but rather someone who knows how to bring together the resources they need to accomplish the tasks given to them.

Coun. Pete Coolio said the position seems like a “junk drawer” for tasks other staff currently can’t get to.

“It doesn’t seem fair to dump everything onto one person, and even if you’re going to hire one more person, they’re just going to be another catch-me-all, like a junk drawer,” he said.

District council approved the new position with a 4-2 vote. Councillors Patrick Van Minsel and Pete Coolio voted against staff’s recommendation.

READ MORE: Gang unit makes drug-related arrest in West Kelowna

Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
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