Bill Phillips on the latest hire at city hall, Rob van Adrichem from UNBC:
“Give them credit for hiring locally. That’s two in a row, as city manager Kathleen Soltis was named Beth James’ successor earlier this year.
“Mayor Lyn Hall and the new council elected last fall, wasted no time in getting rid of former city manager Beth James and erasing James’ fingerprints on the city. Communications manager Todd Corrigal left the city at the same time as James, although reasons for his departure were never disclosed. Several key staff members shown the door by James, have found their way back to the city.”
Given that six out of nine of the current city council was on the previous iteration (Hall included), I’m not sure how much sense it makes to be talking about a “new” council. But this doesn’t certainly seem to be a new era for the reasons Phillips lays out – more interest in using local talent at city hall, including some names who were previously taken off the organizational charts.
I’m also told that one of van Adrichem’s first jobs will be to help organize community meetings. One of Hall’s election promises was to bring city call out to the neighbourhoods, with meetings in College Heights, the Hart, and other places outside the core, in order to make things more accessible. It will be interesting to see how far this goes towards erasing the perceived disconnect between city hall and the city, and how it plays out at the next election.
As an aside, with the loss of Ben Meisner’s views on city hall at 250 News and Bill Phillips’ editorial space at the Prince George Free Press, it certainly is nice that Phillips has found a space at 250 News.