Centre Wellington's Chief Administrative Officer is recommending the township create six new staff positions in 2022. Two of the positions involve moving existing temporary or part-time roles to permanent full-time.
At Monday's committee of the whole meeting, councillors agreed to include the proposed positions in the upcoming draft budget. They'll decide which ones get funding during budget deliberations later this year.
The total salaries and benefits for the six potential new township employees is $429,202.
The proposed positions are:
Council voted 5-2 to include the new positions in the draft budget. Those in favour were councillors Ian MacRae, Kirk McElwain and Neil Dunsmore, along with Mayor Kelly Linton. Councillors Stephen Kitras and Bob Foster were opposed.
"I consider the proposed hires as reasonable," MacRae said. "And I appreciate the need for a dedicated health and safety officer. I used to do that in a past life and it's pretty time consuming."
Meanwhile Foster said the township had been in a pattern of escalating spending, borrowing and hiring for the past eight to ten years.
"I won't support this, Andy," Foster said, levelling an accusation at CAO Andy Goldie. "You've never proven the justification for the hiring. You continue to build your empire and I won't be voting yes to that."
Linton asked that Foster retract his statement, calling it "very unparliamentary."
"There is no justification for saying our CAO is building an empire," Linton said.
"I won't be retracting that statement," he said. "That is my opinion. that is the opinion of my constituents."
Alison Sandstrom, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, GuelphToday.com