SPRINGDALE, NL — In an attempt to improve communication with the residents they represent, the Town of Springdale is starting a monthly newsletter.
Mayor Dave Edison said flow of information was the primary complaint of most residents during last fall’s election campaign.
“Probably the only thing negative I have heard over the years about council is that people don’t hear enough about what we are doing,” he said.
The newsletter is expected to be distributed to taxpayers.
“For us, it is key the public is aware that we are pushing forward on initiatives, and looking toward to town growth and (improving) the infrastructure that we have,” he said. “We just want to make sure people are aware of what is being done.”
Final details were expected to be decided at Monday’s council meeting, but Edison hoped to see the first newsletter ready in the coming weeks.
Wages and stipends increased
Management for the Town of Springdale received a four per cent wage increase as contract terms were renegotiated late last year.
Mayor Dave Edison said the team in place is well worth the raise.
Council typically adjusts management’s wage scale to reflect negotiations with its union employees on an ongoing basis, explained Edison.
This year, the mayor said council compared its management structure to other municipalities.
“We wanted to make sure our managers were at a level equal to or above those working with them,” he said.
The evaluation led to an additional one per cent increase, according to the mayor.
“We were quite comfortable with that because we are quite happy with our management team,” he said.
“It was a well-deserved increase.”
The town has recently gotten younger with the additions of Jason Sparkes, chief administrative officer/manager; Shauna Hewlett, recreation, tourism and heritage director; and Matt Bowers, public works director to its management team.
“It is great morale in the town,” the mayor said. “I’ve never seen it so good as it is over the last few years. We all seem to be working together toward a common goal, and that is to help the Town of Springdale succeed and experience growth in the future.”
The raise came into effect as of Jan. 1. It was unanimously approved.
Increase for firefighters
Council also approved a remuneration increase for members of its volunteer fire department.
The annual stipend for the fire chief increased by $500 and the deputy chief by $300. Stipends for captains, lieutenants, fire prevention officer and firefighters all increased by $200.
Edison said it was part of the annual review of the budget process.
Again, he said the bump in remuneration is well deserved.
“Sometimes it is a thankless job with lots of hours,” he said. “While I don’t believe for one second there is one firefighter who is on there because of this remuneration, these are people who go above and beyond the call of duty.
“It was an easy call for us to give them another bump and try to help them out for their time. If you were to base it on an hourly wage, it would be pretty low. We just wanted to show them some further appreciation for the outstanding work they do.”
The mayor believes Springdale has one of the leading volunteer fire departments in the province.