Tbnewswatch Local News
2014-05-06 at 4:35PM


Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com
By Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com

THUNDER BAY -- Reorganizing the city's corporate structure will cost three jobs at an annual savings of about $300,000.

City council recently approved a restructuring plan, effective July 1, that will reduce its departments from five to four and shift some divisions around.

"It allows us to streamline the organization," said city manager Tim Commisso.

The biggest change would see emergency services combine with development headed up by Mark Smith and have community services as a stand-alone department overseen by Michael Smith, which will include facilities and fleet and transit. Longterm care homes will be with corporate services and general manager and city treasurer Carol Pollard as two of the three homes close.

It will mean the loss of two non-union positions as surplus but Commisso didn't want to comment on what those positions were. The moves also mean that Greg Alexander's current position as general manager of community and emergency services will be eliminated when he retires next month.

Around seven current management positions will be re-classified as directors. Commisso said that's partly to attract people to those jobs. The city expects half of its 25 managers to retire over the next three years. Finding people to fill positions at that level is getting harder for all cities as baby boomers retire.

"There are less people out there and more people want them," he said.

Commisso said filling a recent human resources manager position already showed the city how hard it can be as two candidates backed out.

"Getting people to move here and getting people to change jobs was a difficult thing," he said.
Once people do make the move though, they tend to stay.

Greg Alexander actually moved to the city from Regina in 1993 to be the manager of human resources.

He said he's looking to his retirement and is staying in the city.

"I'm feeling very good about Thunder Bay and its future," he said.

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