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October 28, 2017 2:23 am

City Hires Manager of Economic Development

Thursday, September 24, 2015 @ 3:57 AM

Prince George, B.C.-  Former  Initiatives Prince George  employee Melissa Barcellos will be the new Manager of Economic Development for the City of Prince George.

The City  opted not to renew the IPG contract  past the end of this year,  choosing instead to move  economic development  to  City Hall under the  Planning Department.

The job  as Manager was  offered to ex-IPG  CEO Heather Oland,  who  declined,  and is  now the General Manager of  the Ramada Hotel in Prince George.

Barcellos will officially start her new post on Monday, September 28th.  She brings  with her, the knowledge of programs and projects  which IPG was involved in, and has seven years experience in economic development, recruitment, sales, marketing, and business management.

Barcellos will report to Ian Wells, General Manager of Planning and Development.  Three other  positions  for the in house economic development team have yet to be filled.



Another fluff position.

Three more ex-employees from IPG will fill the positions.. just moving from one building to the next ..nothing will be accomplished except a good paycheck from the taxpayers.

You want economic growth? Tax incentives for development, and cut the red tape around rezoning applications. All this prime land in town and the city won’t rezone it commercial. Ask anyone in construction how infuriating it is dealing with the city when developing, it is the most impossible city to deal with.

Hold a roundtable discussion with the top 15 developers in town, you’ll have all your issues and solutions brought forward in one night. The city does not have its finger on the pulse of the issues surrounding development, they are out of touch.

Perhaps the Mayor and Council should take PG101’s advice and start to get some input from outside the City on some of these issue’s.

There is no doubt that this City is overloaded with high paid help, but it seems they are not delivering a good product is some areas.

Is the new Council up to the challenge?

PG101 …

Why do we not ask the City how infuriating it is to deal with developers who do not know what they are doing.

The City closes a street, compromising the entrance to the library parking, they allow a development to proceed without a proper construction fence. They allow a developer to proceed to put in a footing and foundation system without having the plans for the upper level completed. The allow a developer to proceed without building the proposed condos on top of the supposed hotel. They allow a crane to stay in place all that time and heavy construction equipment to be parked for that time.

It is now 3 years later … or is it just two years?

Do you want the City to build these things for developers …. this City has some of the easiest “red tape” for developers in the country. In fact … the tape here is green, and that is part of the problem.

If memory serves the closing of IPG was going to save us $500,000. Well since we keep hiring the people working there..is there any savings at all ?

Palopu – is the new council up to the challenge?

I have my doubts. They seem more comfortable dealing with bike lanes than the real issues.

That junky construction site is a huge embarrassment to the City or at least it should be! I find it hard to believe that with all the City staff and regulations not a single regulation appears to be in place with which the City can force the developer to either finish the project or restore the site to its previous condition. One would think that this debacle would have prompted the drafting of a bylaw which sets time line limits for the finishing of construction projects! Come to think of it, over the years the City has spent lots of time and effort on many commercial rezoning applications which after approval have led to nothing being done.

The same developer who cleared out the Forrest at Marleau and Hwy 16. His big sign is there but still no development !!

Economic development. How about you throw a big mirror infront of you. and see how the city handles potential development.

It is pure confrontational, they have the front desk people so scared that there is no human interfacing happening. They offer no co-operation. basically if your green to the counter, than you may be sent away 5 times, nothing about the city is about bringing in new business.

This city’s idea of economic development is get as many people as they can sucking on the taxpayer’s teat.

There are some pretty high paying cushy jobs at City Hall. No need for them to try and break their butts for developers, taxpayers, or anyone else. They get paid the same if they are top performers, or slackers.

Some of the high priced help has been on the payroll for too long. Its time for a major shake up and shake out. Anyone of the oldies getting close to retirement should be paid out, and given the proverbial handshake.

We need some new blood, with some interest in the interests of taxpayers, and business.

As an example. The downtown parking initiative gets a lot of attention, however the end result will be to totally screw every taxpayer in this City. The downtown parking is ok, as is. There is no need to spend more money on downtown parking.

In other words. Start to spend some time on issues that are of importance to Prince George, and get out of this mindset of looking after issue;s that have no use other than to generate money for the City.

The City doesn’t need more money to spend. What it needs is to ensure that the available money is spent responsibly.

That is a fair assessment of the situation. PG is not an exception. It is the same in municipal, provincial and federal government. Some people make astronomical salaries, like winning the one million dollar lottery every two years, for as long as they got the job! And when they leave by retiring or quitting they get a super golden handshake! Even when they get fired they get what it takes the average Canadian to earn by working for a few years!


The city council members are pretty much NDP. The city is very much run by NDP people, it shows, Skakun is a great example. Everett, conflick of interest. on and on. IPG is a dead horse. Always has been. Why would the city even keep it around? Its a selfish world out there. Everyone wants to be important.But performance is missing for sure.

I think Prince George nailed it.

This city has a huge reputation as a city that proclaims big projects, and then waits, and waits, and watches the whole project fall apart… thus sending the signal to other potential developers that this is a risky place to invest because of all the failed projects.

Look at hotels for example. The eye sore at the Canada Games Plaza is a disgrace, and I don’t know how they account for the depreciation to all that equipment sitting there as their foundation re-bar rusts in the elements.

Canada Games Plaza – failed project visible to all potential investors.

Exhibition Grounds Hotel – run out of town by anti development interests rather that worked with for using the vacant lot to add amenities to the Exhibition Grounds.

The Casino 6-story hotel at the main intersection to the city – cleared land last year, but project stalled.

The Pomory hotel next to the Playhouse at 16 & 97 – stalled or slowing moving.

The hotel above Wall-mart – land cleared and no sign of progress.

PG has some of the best no vacancy rates in the country and yet we have five major hotel projects stalled for years in the making… its symptomatic of the low level of developers we are working with in this community. Remember all the fiasco of the Wood innovation land deals, using government funds and the full support of all the local politicians for the capital risk for developers that couldn’t develop a paper box.

The city of PG would do well to attract investors that walk the walk rather than just talk the talk.

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