Manager of facility says things are better than they appear on the surface
© HARRY SULLIVAN TRURO DAILY NEWS
Some people have questioned the degree of staff turnover and lack of financial reporting at the Rath Eastlink Community Centre. HARRY SULLIVAN TRURO DAILY NEWS
TRURO - A lack of financial reporting and staff turnover at the Rath Eastlink Community Centre (RECC) are prompting questions from some Colchester County councillors.
“It’s my understanding that there’s been seven managers leave,” Coun. Doug MacInnes said, during a recent meeting.
“Is there a staffing issue … ?”
Coun. Wade Parker also questioned why there has been no update on the RECC’s financial situation since general manager Jim Lambert reported in March of a projected deficit of $737,000 for the first year of operation.
“I believe the last time we heard anything from the Eastlink centre, as far as financial information or anything like that, has pretty near been six months,” Parker said. “And I thought the last time we agreed that, sort of quarterly, they might drop in to just kind of give us any idea of where the place stands. And I would like to see where they stand today and just exactly where it is at.”
Deputy Mayor Bill Masters, who sits on the RECC board, said part of the hold up with the financial information can be attributed to computer software issues and also to the fact that the facility’s first two financial account managers did not last long on the job.
“And quite clearly I don’t think they were using enough expertise to hire their people, so that’s been changed,” he said.
On the financial side of things, Lambert said he expects to be able to provide new figures to the board and the municipalities in the very near future. And while he could not provide precise figures, because they had not yet been presented to the RECC board, Lambert said the financial picture is not going to be as dismal as initially projected.
“I’m kind of looking forward to presenting them based on what we came up with,” he said. “I will tell you that we’re doing well.”
Regarding staff turnover, Lambert believes it is in keeping with the growing pains of a new facility such as the RECC and for the most part can be attributed to personal or health issues of those involved or people who left for higher-paying jobs.
“Things like this happen,” Lambert said, of such startup issues. “There’s a lot of time and energy that goes into this and it’s hard to fit it into an average life schedule. If you sign up for this you’re in for a good ride.”
Beside the two finance managers, the centre has also lost a communications manager, cleaner, a staffer from the kitchen and an operations person and, most recently, an employee from the information technology sector.
“Every case is different,” he said, and the departures did not all involve managers or even senior personnel.
He added that Human Resource personnel from either the town or the county have been involved in all the hirings involving staff who have left the facility. And, from his perspective, the numbers are in keeping with the start up pains for such facilities, especially one with a staff list of more than 100 people.
“We did a short survey to see what the turnover rate in a new facility was and it’s upwards around 30 per cent,” he said. “We’re far from that, we’re probably eight or nine per cent.”