A simple way to reduce city operations expenses

Pruning some of the city's high-priced positions a good place to start

Re: City seeks outside expertise for internal service review (News, July 27)

The City of Victoria hopes to reduce its operations budget. One obvious place to look is at the bloated and expensive management level.

The Public Bodies Report for 2011 lists 227 employees whose annual salaries exceeded $75,000. Forty of these employees are in engineering and public works, a branch which, despite being staffed with so much expensive talent, regularly seeks pricey external engineering expertise for projects such as the new bridge.

Victoria has a very expensive communications department, a group which the District of Saanich seems to be able to do without. Victoria’s communications director, Katie Josephson, has progressed from a salary of $115,369 in 2009 to $148,929 in 2011, while overseeing the communications debacle of the recent spring branch pickup program.

It is time for some pruning of these high-priced positions. If someone leaves, seriously review the position to see if it is even needed or can be served with a lower salary.

I would rather have a lot more of the people who do the actual work – road crews, garbage collectors, parks workers, police, fire, etc. – than still more management.

Roel Hurkens

Victoria