There was a time when we thought that the rot we saw in Wolfville was unusual, an aberration. Now we know that symptoms of the same disease show up in municipal administrations everywhere. Take the use of consultants.
We are not surprised to hear that HRM is over using consultants.
About five years ago, cost-conscious Halifax councillors mulled over paring the number of consultants used by city hall.
A couple of councillors last spring expressed a similar sentiment during 2010-11 budget talks. …
Coun. Gloria McCluskey (Dartmouth Centre) said the municipality uses too many consultants.
“With the number of staff we employ, we must have staff who have expertise in some of the areas we hire consultants for,” she said in an email message.
McCluskey said she intends to raise the issue with municipal officials during upcoming budget discussions.
Coun. Linda Mosher (Purcell’s Cove-Armdale) said, “I do think that, over the past 10 years that I have been on council, we have overused the services of consultants.”
She also said, “Many of these (consultants’) reports were submitted but not acted upon, making them a burden on the taxpayers as they are not obtaining any value from them.”
We think Wolfville over-uses consultants too, although we haven’t heard any councillors complaining about the cost. Why [we ask ourselves] should Wolfville pay for a very expensive CAO and staff and then hire consultants to handle mundane matters which should fall within their job descriptions?
We came to the conclusion that Council and staff do it to shirk responsibility. After all, if they use consultants then THOSE experts are accountable for the recommendations.
Our solution to this problem would be to get rid of expensive staff that aren’t able, it appears, to handle things in even a town this small. Why don’t we consider stripping the Town payroll down to bare bones and privatising the rest? It might be way cheaper in the long run.