Letter to the Editor: Too many projects, and something’s bound to fail

“My observations are from a distance, without any intent to discredit any work, action and individual(s),” says this subscriber, who has been reading my stories over the past year, as senior-level staffers leave the District of Peachland. Five Director-level people have left Peachland over the past two years, whether it’s due to retirement, a job with the RDCO, or other reasons.

“Leadership with possible high salaries and  appropriate position qualifications needs accountability of management as a whole (elected, appointed and hired),” says the author of this letter, Wayne P of Peachland:

“Too many irons in the fire”

“Meaning: This means juggling too many projects at once and something’s bound to fail; when a smith had too many irons in his fire, he couldn’t effectively keep track of all of them.”  (Contributor: Judy Gillispie)

As this pertains to the current Peachland operations’ mismanagement and employment departures, I make these observations.

Could it be that many community projects are “created” by individuals as a way to justify employment positions?  If a person has a job in tough economic/stressful times, he/she may feel a need to justify work-related activities as: “must be done”, “must create”  and “must show” work/accomplishments.

Salary must appear to be earned. Pressure to produce becomes detrimental to a person’s psyche, stamina and work ethics. A work culture based upon justifying productivity is self-defeating, also exhausting.

The term “burnout” has been coined to describe a state of emotional, mental, and often physical exhaustion brought on by prolonged or repeated stress.

Though it’s most often caused by problems at work, it can also appear in other areas of life.  Departures from employment become common when workers feel pressured by either self-imposed workloads or unrealistic assigned expectations.

Sometimes efficiency is disguised with “make-work”projects with lofty objectives, goals and price tags. A timely project with little immediate value might be intended primarily to keep one busy and appear justifiable to public scrutiny.

On the other hand , a project ill-conceived, that is not thoroughly researched with appropriate consultations, could become just as similar to “busywork.” Such projects become incomplete, under-budgeted and scattered.

Too many “irons” become unmanageable. This situation seems to be appearing frequently in the operations of Peachland’s mismanagement, under the public’s (taxpayers’) watchful eyes.

Wayne P., Peachland

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Related stories:

Jan 6, 2022: Community Services Director Cheryl Wiebe no longer works for the District of Peachland

Dec 14, 2021: District will lose staff without improvements to water treatment plant, says Operations boss

Aug 11, 2021: Planning Dept head says he doesn’t have enough resources + staff

July 15, 2021: CAO Joe Mitchell is leaving the District of Peachland

July 7, 2021: Hired in January, leaving already: Water treatment plant operator amongst staff exiting Peachland

Feb 23, 2021: “Let’s not create a feel-good position”: Mayor, councillor spar over climate change job

Nov 24, 2020: District replacing its bylaw enforcement officer

May 28, 2020: New CFO joins District of Peachland

Written by Kristen Friesen

January 8, 2022

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