City’s Manager of Planning laid off

Arlen MacLaine
By Arlen MacLaine
September 27th, 2013

The City of Rossland has decided not to renew the contract of Mike Maturo, Manager of Planning and Development Services.  Mr. Maturo served as City Planner for six and a half years and played a major role in a number of projects during that time.

During the regular meeting of Council on Monday, councillors Jill Spearn and Kathy Wallace spoke to the decision.

“We had to, as a city, look at the hard financial realities of our staff, and we’ve restructured a few times in this building, since I’ve been here,” said Spearn. “It’s never easy, it’s never pleasant, and it shouldn’t be personal.  It was a very difficult decision, letting Mr. Maturo go, but at the same time, we had to look at the reality of what’s going on in our community and we had to plan for the valleys with our staffing, as opposed to what we hope is going to happen, development-wise.  Having two planners in the building, where development is on this low grade at best, we had to make that decision.”

Councillor Wallace added, “The main point that I think needs to be understood is that this was a difficult decision.  It was a decision about a position, not a person, recognizing that that position couldn’t be warranted given that activity that wasn’t happening.  I would like to extend sincere thanks to Mr. Maturo for the contributions he’s made to this community.  He’s been a significant player in a number of pretty big projects that this city has taken on.”

The stated reason for the decision to not renew Mr. Maturo’s contract was a lack of work, and having two planners on staff.  However, a quick glance at page 23 of the 2012 Annual Report, which can be found here, appears to show a different trend:  “Planning witnessed its busiest development year in the last 6 in part by assisting a new building inspector with 114 building permits, up 34% from 86 permits in 2011.”

When asked to explain this apparent discrepancy later, Mayor Greg Granstrom said, “Mr. Maturo was laid off because his contract was up was up, and there wasn’t enough work for two planners.”

For now, Stacey Lightbourne will assume the role of Manager of Planning.

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