By Irwin Huberman and Jody MacPherson
Fort McMurray Express, June 25, 1986
City council began the dismantling of its current administrative system Tuesday by abolishing the position of community services commissioner.
The move ends a three month waiting period for commissioner Doug Raines who handed in his resignation at Tuesday’s special meeting.
Three months ago, Raines was removed from many of his social services duties to perform a three month study into existing services. He was also invited to use that time to seek other other employment. Thursday, he was called into chief commissioner Bob Byron’s office and was offered a severance package.
Raines was offered to remain on staff at his current salary range of between $70,000 and $80,000, and take over the vacant position of Economic Development officer. He declined.
City council said Tuesday the elimination of Raines’ position was based on the necessity of budget cuts.
“The slow economy affects all employers in Fort McMurray, why shouldn’t it affect the city,” said Byron.
“The results of this first step will dictate what happens in the second step.”
Councillors passed a unanimous motion supporting the move.
Mayor Chuck Knight says he views Raines’ departure as the beginning of an eventual trimming of the four commissioner board to two members.
“I still feel the board should be at two,” said Knight. “I may be a voice in the wilderness.”
Knight’s position that another commissioner should be eliminated is supported by other councillors.
Byron says the position of operations commissioner soon to be vacated by Sig Dietze will be filled. Until then, Byron will take over both Raines’ and Dietze’s duties.
Knight says council will evaluate performance of its current commissioners before making a decision on which position should be eliminated.
Raines began with the city in 1978 as a planner and quickly moved to chief development officer. He became community services commissioner in 1982.