Select Committee on Economic Development To be Established
Prince George, B.C. – When the recommendation was made against renewing the service agreement with Initiatives Prince George, it was Councillor Albert Koehler who was the only one who vote against the idea.
That vote was conducted at a closed door meeting of Council in late May not to renew the service agreement with IPG , that agreement comes to an end at the end of this year.
Koehler says the projected savings of $500 thousand dollars by dismantling IPG could have been achieved by simply cutting IPG’s budget by the same amount.
“I look forward to fresh ideas” says Councillor Brian Skakun who said while he appreciated what IPG has done over the years “I’ve been challenged on how many jobs they created in the City.”
City Manager Kathleen Soltis says on January 1st 2016 economic development will be handled in house, which will be under the banner of the Development Services department which ultimately answers to the City Manager’s office. Only Heather Oland has been offered a job with the City, but she has not yet advised if she will take the post.
If Oland accepts, she would report to Ian Wells. It is imagined the work will require staff of 3 to four people, so all others at IPG have been given layoff notices. Whatever new positions are created will be union positions, and the job descriptions will be developed in consultation with CUPE and the positions posted externally.
“There is an opportunity for us as we move forward to have substantial savings for the City.” says Councillor Frank Everitt, who added “Council needed to be much closer aligned with economic development.”
Mayor Lyn Hall offered thanks to IPG and its Board for their work over the years.
Meetings by the new Select Committee on Economic Development will be open to the public.