Resource item

Gore mayor loses executive assistant bid: ‘It’s a luxury item’

New Gore District Mayor Ben Bell has lost a bid for his own executive assistant.

New Gore Mayor Ben Bell has been told to stick to the basics as his request for his own executive assistant was denied in council.
Photo: Provided / Facebook

Advisors called the request a luxury and reminded Bell that he had campaigned to get back to basics.

He chaired his first council meeting on Tuesday afternoon.

An executive assistant role to help the chief executive and mayor was created earlier this year, but Bell wanted dedicated support.

He gave a short speech for an executive assistant, saying that by giving him more support, he could help others in turn.

“As a lot of people know, I had my own personal assistant who helped me in the meantime. I was, you know, heavily affected by the media and the things that were thrown at me,” he said. said Bell.

“I didn’t think it was fair to the joint assistant of myself and the GM. It also takes that resource away from the GM.”

Councilman Bret Highsted immediately sought to move a motion to deny the request, saying the mayor already had access to the shared assistant.

“You campaigned to go back to basics and eliminate the vanity projects, and I was on the board that took on some of the vanity projects.

“So I have to say that this role could be considered your own personal vanity project.”

It is estimated that the new role will cost between $70,000 and $85,000 per year.

Councilor Glenys Dickson acknowledged the mayor’s workload, but said she could not justify the cost.

“It’s not just the salary, there’s also the retirement pension, there’s the training, there’s the travel expenses and the like.

“And in this climate, when everyone feels things are pretty tight, it’s actually an extra 0.4% on our rates.”

Councilor Richard McPhail said he understands the mayor is facing heightened media interest.

But between the board’s communications team and shared executive assistant, he didn’t believe the new role was necessary.

“It’s a luxury item. Our other brother and sister councils in the countryside around us don’t have that opportunity, so I won’t support that.”

Councilor Robert McKenzie said there was a need for better support.

“I believe that due to your age and the fact that many of us here are beginners, you may have needed a little extra help at first. I know it is available and that things just didn’t go well.”

When put to a vote, the request was rejected.